Monday Musings

Cake. It’s been a week of cake.

We have a plethora of birthdays this time of year and yours truly is the cake maker.

My kids know they can request whatever kind they want and I’ll whip it up for them.

My middle son turned 28 May 1st. After a reminder I hadn’t received his request, did he wish for me to make him a boxed cake?

I got a link to a monstrosity of a 5 layer cake. Initially, I thought it was a joke. But then I’m always down for a challenge and dived into the project

Two brownie layers and three white cake layers.

Yes, that is buttercream frosting between those layers

11 eggs, three packages of butter, 7 cups of sugar, 10 cups of powdered sugar for buttercream frosting, 30 Oreos and brownies that get made with brownie layers to decorate on top and a partridge in a pear tree.

Ok I jest about the partridge 😉

I weighed it.

It weighed 13 pounds.

I don’t exaggerate.

13 pounds of ridiculous deliciousness.

You know what I’m afraid of? I’ve now set the bar to high and who knows what they will come up with next. 😄

Yes, there is a literal second dessert piled on top of this monumental cake.

The aftermath….it is a wee bit tricky cutting five layers.

Even my guys with the biggest appetites were out done by this cake.

We all decided this…the cake and brownie layers were delicious enough to just make independently. The eggs, real butter and buttermilk made it a light, airy melt in your mouth cake.

The brownies had lots of eggs giving them a cake consistency and with all the cocoa powder they had a good chocolate flavor.

Think you wanna try it? Find it in my Homemade Cake folder on Pinterest!

https://pin.it/S3hiAKL

When I’m not whipping up cakes…

I’m attempting to live a healthy lifestyle. I’m sure glad cake can fit into that!

I’m also glad I started the day off with some miles on the bike.

Nothing like some hills to make you work a little hard 😅

How are y’all doing with home work outs during this time?

Remember fitness need not be hard or complicated. Brisk walks or jogs, bike rides, swimming, or hitting the treadmill or elliptical are good ways to get cardio.

Strength training can be accomplished with a variety of items at home even if you don’t have weights.

You have a body and can do plenty of body weight exercises!

I find boxing to be rather therapeutic 😉 not only is it good strength and cardio, it just feels good to let my energy sink into that bag.

Don’t forget about yoga and other stretching moves to keep you flexible. It’s also a great way to center your mind.

Exercise is not only good for our bodies, but our mental well being too.

Staying mentally and physically well during this time is important for our overall health.

In other life activities

Am I the only one who wakes up trying to remember what day it is??

Like seriously.

True, life is a bit different lately, but I don’t find all of it bad.

There aren’t lots of things pressing on me to go to different activities or places which means time home and time to do not only home projects but work on my business projects too.

My shop in town opened back up this weekend so I’m glad to have things out of my back room and filling up my space.

I’ve had an increase in custom orders so that’s a win.

I also jumped into becoming a retailer for Dixie Belle chalk paint. Ah, nothing like making a financial investment when things are closed down 😅

I kinda like diving off the deep end with new adventures.

Speaking of projects

Wanna see some of the things I’ve been up to?

Before. A custom order. She wanted it white. Dixie Belle has a color called Fluff, soft white with grey undertone

Definitely a bit brighter.

Then there was this old trunk….

I’m horribly in love with this piece ❤ it got some layers of black and white paint, distressed, a lovely floral trasnfer and I lined inside with some fabric that’s been waiting for the right project.

Then there was this old French provincial table. I seriously adore this style. Solid, classic, beautiful lines, these pieces remake so nicely

And a couple things I’ve scored recently. It’s been hard getting things…I’m ready to go hunting again !

Sweet old dresser definitely dated and needs a fresher look!

And an antique ladies writing desk and chair. This is gonna need work but I thought it was the coolest thing.

And before I go…..

I made the best chicken dish tonight and everyone went crazy over it. Fast,easy with a Mexican flair to it. Find it on my dinner recipes file on Pinterest

https://pin.it/cwzpiX1

I served it with Spanish rice and beans. Have plenty of rice on hand, the sauce is amazing over it!

Tell me what you’ve been up to? How are you keeping fit and staying sane in these days?

Monday Musings

Hello Monday. Quarantine day 854…or something like that.

Are we having fun yet?

I guess I’m really grateful it’s spring and the weather has been gorgeous and since I’m supposed to be home it gives me scads of time to basically do whatever the heck I want.

Not a bad thing right?

I’m grateful too that I can retreat to my hill country home with 28 acres surrounding me with gorgeous views.

I’m grateful also for having a fun little business that I work out of my home. Lately I just find it relaxing and therapeutic.

I’ve also had time to start work on one of my personal projects, an old antique table and chair set. Getting that done will give me alot more space in my barn…space for more furniture 🤣

Here’s a look at that table.. before I started

A sneak peek.. I’ve been busy..

I got the great idea to sand table top. Have I ever mentioned, I hate sanding? This is gonna be worth it though.

Oh. Chairs. It has chairs. I’ve been working on those too. 😱

I need to get this set done because I have an equally old stunning set to do for my dining room….

It looks like this……

Ah.. I love how beautifully old school elegant it all is. I can hardly wait to transform it.

Anyway, even with all that’s going on I feel grateful for all the good things too.

I’m grateful even though my shop is closed, I’ve got several custom orders to keep me busy and making a little cash. It’s rather cool to do things I love and get paid for it as well😉

It’s not all smooth sailing

Hey, I feel like you do too. I miss just deciding to randomly go somewhere without a care in doing so.

Now, I feel almost guilty popping into the store to get a few things. Like…get it…go…get home.

Stay there.

I think what I really.. hate…are the looks on people’s faces. How they look at you like you might brush something off on them. The avoidance of making eye contact or scurrying away. A human disconnect.

It is what it is.

I will do my part. I only go to get what I need and leave.

I keep sanitizer in my car and use it before and after going somewhere. I try to be mindful of my “position ” around people.

I find it all tiring and going home really is a much better,more comfortable option.

Even with all of that…

I’m grateful. Life is still good. I have all my needs met.

I’m glad I can take care of my own nails and that I got my hair all pretty before the salons had to close. 😉 That certainly isn’t earth shattering but small things make me feel good.

And feeling good in a weird world right now, helps.

Making time for self care

More than ever we not only need to take care of our physical health, but mental health too

Exercise is good for both.

Again, I’m happy I’ve been doing the home workout thing for years so it’s life as usual for me. For others though it’s an adjustment of figuring out what to do.

With the weather turning nice, getting out for daily walks is a good option for most everyone. With extra time for many right now, there’s no reason to not get some purposeful movement in.

You may also consider a new hobby or activity to pursue. Start a new book or pursue an online course.

Life is still going on,even if it’s not so conventional right now.

Even though my shop is closed I’m making plans for new business opportunities.

There are plenty of things for us to keep focused on and we can use this time for growth and learning and hopefully not feeding our fears or anxieties.

Before I go…

We are entering birthday season in my family. My kids always request some favorite cake for me to make for their birthday.

My daughter in law found a rather different one this year and…oh my…I can’t say how good it was. It got rave reviews and I think it would make a great Easter dessert.

Lemon blueberry cake with lemon cream cheese frosting.

And because I know you will want to try it, I’ll attach the link for you

https://pin.it/6RbzCio

Tell me…how are you doing out there? Are you using this time to pursue something new? What is helping you move through these days? Do you feel grateful for what you have?

Immune Boosting Foods

It hasn’t escaped my attention these past few weeks, people asking questions on Facebook about what they should “take ” for a strong immune system.

I discussed it in yesterday’s Monday Musings post. My response on Facebook was a post on what I observed on a shopping trip.

I couldn’t help but notice when I was trying to pick up a few items last week that a vitamin I’ve taken for years was sold out as were many other vitamins/supplements

I joked that people were picking a fine time to decide to be healthy..

Seriously though, you can’t just throw a bunch of vitamins and supplements in and expect it to be some magic potion.

I actually read an article yesterday where a doctor said the same thing.

Keeping your body healthy and strong should be a daily goal for all of us, not just when you want to avoid a virus.

Let’s talk about food

Your best line of defense is feeding your body foods that help build and keep your immune system strong.

Real food. Your grocery cart is your best line of defense.

What are some of those foods? Let’s take a look.

》 Citrus fruits …interesting factoid…do you know your body doesn’t make or store Vitamin C? This is what most people turn to after they’ve caught a cold. Vitamin C is thought to increase the production of white blood cells. They are key to fighting infections.

Popular citrus fruits include oranges, grapefruit, lemons, limes, clementines, and tangerines.

As mentioned with your body not producing it, this should be a vitamin you get daily fir immune health.

》Red Peppers

If you think citrus fruits have the most vitamin C of any fruit or vegetable, think again. Ounce for ounce, red bell peppers contain twice as much vitamin C as citrus. They’re also a rich source of beta carotene. Besides boosting your immune system, vitamin C may help maintain healthy skin. Beta carotene helps keep your eyes and skin healthy.

》Broccoli
Broccoli is supercharged with vitamins and minerals. Packed with vitamins A, C, and E, as well as many other antioxidants and fiber, broccoli is one of the healthiest vegetables you can put on your table. The key to keeping its power intact is to cook it as little as possible — or better yet, not at all.

》Garlic

Garlic is found in every cuisine in the world. It adds a little zing to food and it’s a must-have for your health. Early civilizations recognized its value in fighting infections. Garlic may also help lower blood pressure and slow down hardening of the arteries. Garlic’s immune-boosting properties seem to come from a heavy concentration of sulfur-containing compounds, such as allicin.

》Spinach

Spinach made the list not just because it’s rich in vitamin C. It’s also packed with numerous antioxidants and beta carotene, which may increase the infection-fighting ability of our immune systems. Similar to broccoli, spinach is healthiest when it’s cooked as little as possible so that it retains its nutrients. However, light cooking enhances its vitamin A and allows other nutrients to be released from oxalic acid.

》Yogurt

Look for yogurts that have “live and active cultures” printed on the label, like Greek yogurt. These cultures may stimulate your immune system to help fight diseases. Try to get plain yogurts rather than the kinds that are preflavored and loaded with sugar. You can sweeten plain yogurt yourself with healthy fruits and a drizzle of honey instead.

Yogurt can also be a great source of Vitamin D so try to select brands fortified with vitamin D. Vitamin D helps regulate the immune system and is thought to boost our body’s natural defenses against diseases.

》Almonds

When it comes to preventing and fighting off colds, vitamin E tends to take a backseat to vitamin C. However, vitamin E is key to a healthy immune system. It’s a fat soluble vitamin meaning it requires the presence of fat to be absorbed properly. Nuts, such as almonds, are packed with the vitamin and also have healthy fats. A half-cup serving, which is about 46 whole, shelled almonds, provides nearly 100 percent of the recommended daily amount of vitamin E.

》Papaya

Papaya is another fruit loaded with vitamin C. You can find 224 percent of the daily recommended amount of vitamin C in a single papaya. Papayas also have a digestive enzyme called papain that has anti-inflammatory effects.

Papayas have decent amounts of potasium, B vitamins, and folate, all of which are beneficial to your overall health.

》Kiwi
Like papayas, kiwis are naturally full of a ton of essential nutrients, including folate, potassium, vitamin k, and vitamin C. Vitamin C boosts white blood cells to fight infection, while kiwi’s other nutrients keep the rest of your body functioning properly.

-》Berries of all types.

Blackberry, blueberry, strawberry, elderberry etc. ( be sure to check out my post The Benefits of Elderberry) these dark fruits pack powerful antioxidants. Berries are a great source of vitamin C which is thought to help prevent damage to your cells and also protects the immune system against deficiencies. Dark berries like blackberries, strawberries and blueberries not only taste great but they are also a great source of flavanols which are highly effective antioxidants.

》 Poultry

When you’re sick, chicken soup is more than just a feel-good food with a placebo effect. It helps improve symptoms of a cold and also helps protect you from getting sick in the first place. Poultry, such as chicken and turkey, is high in vitamin B-6. About 3 ounces of light turkey or chicken meat contains 40 to 50 percent of your daily recommended amount of B-6.

Vitamin B-6 is an important player in many of the chemical reactions that happen in the body. It’s also vital to the formation of new and healthy red blood cells. Stock or broth made by boiling chicken bones contains gelatin, chondroitin, and other nutrients helpful for gut healing and immunity.

》Shellfish

Shellfish isn’t what jumps to mind for many who are trying to boost their immune system, but some types of shellfish are packed with zinc.

Zinc doesn’t get as much attention as many other vitamins and minerals, but our bodies need it so that our immune cells can function as intended.

Varieties of shellfish that are high in zinc include:

  • crab
  • clams
  • lobster
  • mussels

Keep in mind that you don’t want to have more than the daily recommended amount of zinc in your diet. For adult men, it’s 11 milligrams (mg and for women, it’s 8 mg. Too much zinc can actually inhibit immune system function.

In conclusion

Keep in mind, these are a few foods to help build a strong immune system. Remember your best medicine is heading to the produce aisle for all of those wonderful colored fruits and veggies and making them a part of every meal.

I realized writing this, I eat almost all of these things, but wow, I need to try papaya!

Tell me do you have favorite foods that support a strong immune system?

Monday Musings

Happy Monday ya’ll and another day in paradise.

In this weeks edition…

Am I the only one troubled over humanity lately?

The lack of common sense, greed, and overall panicky hysteria have left me scratching my head.

The craziness at the grocery stores can just stop any time now.

I actually decided I’d get up and be at store when they opened yesterday to get a few things that have thus far, slipped from my hands.

I don’t want to be one of “those people ” but it almost forces my hand when I actually “need” items I would just go buy. Not to hoard…just regular shopping ya know?

When I pulled into the lot ( at 7:50 a.m.) it was to see a long line of people in the chilly wet morning that not only came down the street but wrapped around to the front of bulding waiting to get in.

Hundreds of people.

The store was only letting 50 people in at a time.

No thanks.

I left.

Really, staying home in all this isn’t torture when you deal with this fresh hell.

I just wanna buy eggs like a normal person again.

Speaking of food

I’ve seen a lot of posts with people asking what they should do or “take” to have a strong immune system.

First, you should always be concerned about having a strong healthy body, not when you are just worried about fending off the latest virus.

Second, the way you make your body strong, inside and out, is to feed it good, healthy, nutrient dense foods. By that I mean foods with as few or little ingredients as possible, single ingredients are a big win. ( think all kinds of colorful fruits and veggies) nothing replaces or works as good as real food.

Yogurt.

Yogurt is rich in probiotics including Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus casei, and Bifidus. These strains boost immune function and may even help reduce both the length and severity of colds. Beneficial gut flora are needed for proper digestion, detoxification, and immune function.

Other factors to consider.

Get adequate rest, exercise, drink plenty of water, limit stress ( turn off the tv and social media bombardment of current issues!) Get outside, enjoy fresh air and sunshine, do a project or hobby that relaxes you.

Just a few tips and suggestions as we navigate through this interesting time in life.

Oh. And yeah, let’s not forget my lovely breakfast pic.

Plenty of sauteed veggies with spinach, cherry tomatoes, and green onions. Also a good dose of dark berries for all of their awesome antioxidant properties and of course, eggs for protein, because muscles 💪

And another thing

I’m semi-amused over all the posts I’ve seen touting “how to workout at home” or how to exercise while the gym is closed.

Hey…I’ve been making home workouts cool long before now 🤣

Honestly, I’m grateful this isn’t an issue for me.

I have an area carved out in my barn I share with my vintage project furniture (that can sometimes be seen photo bombing me) and random tools and whatnot.

I don’t need a whole lot of space to kick my own butt.

I’ve managed to collect enough items that I can mix up a pretty good workout

Between lots of weights, a punching bag, and my recently aquired elliptical machine, not to mention my own body weight, I can mix up all kinds of fun

Of course I have my bike for my favorite gym, outdoors.

Here’s my word to you. Find ways to take yourself out and move.

Walking is still largely available for us all to do. Nothing clears my head more and helps me feel refreshed than being out for a good walk or run.

Right now with current situations walking could be the therapy you need mentally and physically.

Also, just because you may not have weights or equipment at home doesn’t mean you can’t use your own body for body weight exercises. Thanks to Google you can search up plenty to do. Pinterest has lots of options as well ( check out my Sassyfitnesschick board there as well as other exercise boards I have)

Keep in mind too that there are lots of heavy items around your house you could use as weights. You can also pick up some cheap resistance bands at the store which will give you some strength training

Jump rope. It’s not just for kids. Yeah your heart will feel like it’s gonna explode and you’ll be screaming you’re out of shape, but keep at it and you will get better.

If you’re wanting to get a little home “gym” started may I suggest your local online sales?

I have several things I’ve scooped up that was someone elses better idea….like my 50.00 elliptical I shared with you in last weeks Monday Musings.

Decide what you like, what you would stick with and go on a hunt.

What else are you doing while you’re stuck at home? 🤔

Get creative with ways to keep body and mind active and to most importantly, keep a positive mental attitude.

On topic of being home

Let me say that by nature, I’m a very social person. I like being out going, seeing people,talking…maybe talking some more…hubby says I could talk to stump 🤣 so having places cut off from me to go to right now is a rather…odd…feeling.

Like my Starbucks locked their doors on Saturday. Ouch.

Yeah, I can still drive thru for coffee. I never do…I go in so I can see and talk to people. I get to know the baristas and the regulars…I like that contact.

I get it though…the why of it..

But being at home however, doesn’t leave me sitting on my sofa wondering what to do after all my toilets are cleaned and the final dust bunny is gone.

Not when I have a business that I literally work at home. If you’ve followed me you know I have a little side hustle flipping antique and vintage furniture.

I have all kinds of projects waiting for my attention not to mention custom orders.

I’ve kinda liked having some time to really devote to my work.

Check out this sweet piece. I got it this week and just had to start it because I knew how I wanted it.

Obviously, it’s before look.

This is a piece I want to keep, but won’t.

One of those job hazards…wanting to keep things. 🤪

Oh, I got this 50s retro kitchen pantry this week. It’s gonna need some work before a new paint job. I can hardly wait to get to it as I haven’t really done a retro piece and I have alllll the cool ideas in my head for it.

Sometimes…I have to much in my head….

Anyway, i.

Your turn! Tell me how you are coping with all that’s going on right now? Have you picked up a new activity to keep busy? What strategies are you using to deal with life?

Monday Musings

Welcome to another edition of Monday Musings, an eclectic gathering of my random, yet sometimes thoughtful reflections.

You never know what’s gonna come out of my head…..

What on earth?

Unless you’ve been in a cave, it seems like people have lost their minds with the current situation regarding this virus.

I’m not camping on this topic long as I feel the majority of us are overwhelmed and saturated with it all.

Thank you media for contributing to hysteria that has led to people literally ripping store shelves bare and hoarding things they don’t need.

This aisle usually has paper products at my store…..

Hold on…I’m going somewhere..

I made a trip to the store the other day for a few things I actually ya know, needed.

One of those items was a vitamin I’ve taken for several years. It never occurred to me that the vitamin section would get hit and so many things wouldn’t be there.

Here’s my thought about that.

You can’t decide to throw some vitamins at your body in the moment of anxiety thinking it’s gonna “help” you fend off something.

If you want to help yourself, it needs to be something you do every single day

Eat healthy, natural foods. Drink plenty of water, exercise, get rest, and depending on your personal needs, then use vitamins if needed.

The best way to keep your body and immune system strong is to take care of it daily.

Not in an impulsive moment thinking it will be some kind of quick fix.

Rant over….stay healthy out there. Wash your hands and be smart.

Speaking of exercise….

If you’ve followed me for awhile you know that I kinda like running.

Unfortunately, I’ve had a crappy injury that’s kept me off of it. I’m still cycling and strength training but I miss the hard work and satisfaction of putting those miles in that running gives me.

I’ve used an elliptical in the past and it was the closest thing to running I could do without actually, you know, running 😛

I set out trolling all my local online sale sites watching for someone to sell off their “better idea turned towel and clothes holder.”

Not to hard to find I might say. I just had to wade through mediocre ones that were to much and then the nicer ones, if well priced, got sold or they were to far away etc.

Until…..

The other night I found a Nordictrack, a short drive down the road from me, selling for only 50.00.

I couldn’t respond fast enough. This time I was the one quick enough to get the prize.

The couple told me they had each gotten a gym membership and it was never used. This originally 800.00 machine ( she had the receipt and manual in a bag for me) had all the bells and whistles on it.

I happily loaded my game on the trailer and hauled it home.

I got it all set up….today was my maiden voyage on it.

Gosh, it felt awesome to be working hard like that again.

Heart pounding and sweat in my eyes…good times 😁

Do you like ellipticals?

On topic of healthy lifestyle

In other recent events in my life, hubby was in the hospital for a number of weeks so needless to say I found myself frequenting the hospital cafeteria for more than shots of coffee.

I have to say their food selections were nice and varied.

Often though, I hit up their salad bar. It offered a good selection of colorful greens and other veggies with protein options too. I got some dressing in a container so I could control what I had. ( remember dressings can contribute a huge amount of calories to a otherwise healthy salad) it was a satisfying and filling lunch.

I wrote a post before addressing the myth that is perpetuated suggesting healthy food was more expensive than fries or burgers ( The Cost of Healthy Eating) You can also check out my post (Weight Loss and Salads and Salad Bar Strategies)

On average I paid 4.00-5.00 for my salad. ( you pay by weight) those cucumbers and chick peas were heavy!)

On one day I just wanted a burger and fries, because, why not? I paid 7.50 for it.

The bottom line is, we make our choices. You choose to eat healthy foods or you don’t.

Not only do I have plenty of colorful veggies, eggs and chick peas covered my protein.

Doesn’t it look delicious? 😁

Speaking of healthy food

https://pin.it/4osmBfX

I made this recipe for dinner recently and it is amazing!

https://pin.it/1WBX33I

I just found this salad recipe and it is definitely on my list to try soon.

Ok and one of my favs…

https://pin.it/7hUVgjK

In other life stuff

In ways of things fun and not stressful, how about a look at a few of my vintage projects?

One of my other plates I juggle is a growing vintage business which involves flipping often old,sad and falling apart furniture.

It brings me tremendous satisfaction to make things pretty again…like this custom order I just finished this week…

Here’s the before:

And the after:

This turned out so cheery and is such a happy piece. My customer…”oh my gosh, I wanna cry, it’s so pretty!”

Makes my day.

I got this super cool piece last week. Its an old wash station. It does have a seriously abused marble top but I’ve got plans to spruce that up.

I think…it would repurpose to make a great coffee bar. At first I thought it would make a great pastry table but it is a bit short for that. How would you repurpose this cute piece?

Then there was this.. I love old telephone benches. I can’t keep them around, a good problem to have..

This is how I got it….

And after..

Boring magazine holder…

Turned kitchen utility crate 😛

Enough of my creativity for now… I got more projects this weekend

And before I go…

Isn’t it pretty? And it’s really black coffee. I love the nitro cold brew from Starbucks. It has no cream, the nitro gives it the smooth creamy foam and it slowly settles and swirls down through the coffee until it’s black. It packs a powerful caffeine punch, yet is ridiculously smooth and satisfying to my soul

My current guilty pleasure 😉

Your turn…..tell me…how are you doing out there? How is your piece of the world doing? Have you tried the nitro coffee? What’s new with you?

Oh That Super Bowl Show!

So the biggest game in football happened this past weekend, the “creme de la creme” culminating the year in football.

I’m happy Kansas won. After a 50 year hiatus they came in with an impressive finishing win.

Then… then….there was the half time show.

The half time show is either a time people go get food and another beer or they settle in waiting to see the million dollar entertainment.

Well, let’s just say those who watched the show seemed to have lots to say. The internet has been a plethora of opinions, much like my Facebook newsfeed.

This post is written from my personal opinion. You may have a different one.

That’s alright too.

Our opinions are shaped by everything from our age, the generation we were raised in, our upbringing, the things we deem important and valuable, to our own personal moral convictions.

So many factors shape our personal opinions.

It’s ok to have different opinions and respect each other in those opinions.

Life would be really boring if we all thought alike.

What does bug me though are opinions grounded in ignorance. A little education goes a long way on a topic to present a more informed opinion. You lose me with an ignorance based opinion.

With that being said..on with the show.

It was “good/bad”.

Those were some comments I first saw. But look, the whole “good or bad” thing is totally subjective based on well, what you, personally like.

Your thoughts on the overall quality of show are based on your music tastes, your entertainment preferences, and even your personal thoughts and feelings on how performers are dressed and perform.

This years entire show was very Latin themed (obviously) but if Billy the cowboy had been on, or someone’s favorite hip hop artist with every fourth word getting bleeped out, (or whoever) were featured artists then I’m sure those people would’ve declared it “good!” and “awesome!”

Why? Because it would’ve fallen in areas that they enjoy and prefer.

An opinion of “good or bad” is totally subjective.

The players

Of course this years heading line duo was Shakira and Jennifer Lopez ( J Lo) . Now if I were to believe some things I’ve read you would think people had no idea what these women did.

For years…years…they have been singers and dancers. High energy singers and dancers. J Lo is also an actress.

They are entertainers.

So unless you’ve lived under a rock you would know these women are powerhouses in their industry.

I expected no less than a high octane performance with lots of Latin moves.

The rhetoric

I’ve read so many posts screaming about how inappropriate they were dressed, the the dancing, the pole dance and belly dancing.

Oh my, we will get to those items in a moment.

First, I thought their costumes were more covering and fitted than some artists I’ve seen in the past. Skimpy? Yes. Does it go with what they do as performers, also yes.

Were they covered way more than what you and your family can view on a public beach or at the pool? Also yes.

I mean last year Maroon 5’s frontman, Adam Levine, was out there in nothing but well fitted jeans, and his tatted very well muscled chest on display.

I didn’t have a problem with that 😜 but c’mon, technically he was half naked. Let’s stop double standards.

And people went crazy…especially the women. And this year the women are too, just in a different way.

Angry women

I have to admit to a huge amount of shock as I’ve read post after post of women ranting labeling these performers as everything from “floozies, poor role models, trashy, vulgar, etc etc” I know there were alot more adjectives used…..ah the judgement.

Fortunately, I’ve also got some women in the other camp who cast a different eye at it.

Ha..I’m not alone 😜

Shakira and JLo delivered a high octance show that was Vegas worthy.

Here’s the deal, again my humble opinion.

All the sudden the show starts and there are two stunning, strong, confident, athletic, fit middle aged women (Shakira is 43, J Lo 50)

Totally killing it.

They looked amazing and the cardio out put of that show no one could’ve kept up with.

These women are mothers and powerful business women. They are at the top of their game.

I dare say, there were alot of women munching chips and cheese dip behind their tv screen all the sudden being reminded that they’ve gained weight and are out of shape and maybe its time to get back to exercise and doing a check on the nutrition.

Maybe there were elements that made them uncomfortable personally, and not because of the costumes and dancing.

On the other hand I had many friends making jokes on how they needed to start working out again.

As a middle aged woman and an athlete, I was in awe of what they brought. I’m not intimidated by other women so I guess I just studied it all in a different way.

It’s not family friendly!

Really.

The half time shows almost always have an edge to them. And come on, who remembers Janet Jacksons MAJOR wardrobe malfunction years ago? Beyonce’s performance was pretty….shaking, grinding, wiggling in less clothes with plenty of crotch angles.

I also want to know….whose kids are all actually clustered around the tv watching the game and gearing up for half time show?

Mine were always running around and now as adults, still care less about the show.

If you happen to have children who actually sit and watch game and are waiting eagerly for the entertainment, you as the adult, if you feel what is coming on isn’t “family friendly” have the ultimate remote control power to change the channel.

Simple.

Belly dancing and pole dancing, oh my!

If I had a quarter every time that was brought up..well.. I’d have a whole lotta change.

My eye rolls though….🙄

Listen, last time I checked, these activites aren’t cardinal sins.

My favorite thing I’ve read is indigent Karen and Becky proclaiming it as “porn”.

Now I’m not a huge expert here, but I’m pretty sure, fairly confident, that isn’t porn.

I took belly dancing classes years ago ( oh my, I did).

You know what I learned?

It is crazy hard. It’s a ton of work.

You have to learn to move your hips while completely isolating movement of other parts of your body. You have to learn to use your arms while doing mentioned activities with hips.

It’s like patting your head and rubbing your tummy, doing it quickly

It is work and a huge talent.

My core was so sore after each session

Gosh, no wonder Shakira’s abs looked amazing.

This was also a nod to her Lebanese heritage, so many want to ignore that.

The pole dancing with J Lo?

Listen it was really no shock she put that in her show giving a nod to her most recent movie where she learned to pole dance in preparation for it.

Again, being able to do that requires a tremendous amount of strength and power to do gymnastic moves up and down that pole.

I can tell you there wasn’t a single male athlete Sunday who could’ve done what she did. None.

Are these poles used in mens clubs? Yes (I’ve heard ) so many women keep saying that 😉

Are the poles unto themselves, sexual?

No.

People need to stop sexualizing so many things that don’t need to be.

FYI, it is on my bucket list to try. Does that make me morally awful? Trashy? Not a good parent? Pretty sure I won’t be in alot of clothes learning to do it either.

We need to stop sexualizing so many things in our world today that aren’t.

What do we need to address?

Let’s bring this home, right in our back yard.

Let’s talk about our girls and young women in our town, family, friends etc and how they are portrayed, in a way, sexualized, before they should be.

Human trafficking is an awful thing. The super bowl isn’t the vehicle for it. Can it contribute in some way? Possibly.

Human trafficking is far closer home than the super bowl.

Let’s talk about little girls in dance classes and beauty pageants.

I’ve seen costumes that make me raise my eyebrows. They are far to sexual looking for their young age. Then there’s all the make up and I’ve seen plenty of dances with them shaking things everywhere. Two piece sets with their little tummies exposed and their baby bottoms in spandex.

Oh.

But that’s “cute”.

I’m a mom and grandmother and yeah, I might not think much of it, but do you know about people around you?

Let’s move up to older girls…middle school, high school.

Cheer and dance teams.

Anyone ever seen costumes these young women are in, loaded with lots of make up, shaking their hips everywhere in a dance? I’ve seen costumes that made me wonder why an adult picked them out for the girls to wear.

Ah. That’s ok though.

This is where we need to worry. This is where we need to stop accepting it’s cute or whatever and stop sexualizing young girls in a world full of horrible people who would look at them in a way you didn’t want.

I’ve seen grown men gaping at these young women and I can guarantee they aren’t thinking how great they are dancing.

Stop filtering your childrens faces to look older with that plastic flawless look.

If people are worried about their kids, start at home and don’t be ok with things that make them appear more grown up than they are.

There are( perhaps) people who look at them, and not in the right ways. And unfortunately, you have no idea who they are.

Two middle age women aren’t the root of the problem. They aren’t supposed to be the moral guidance for your kids. Your family, teachers, church leaders, friends etc would be more realistic leaders.

The show

Was I ok with it all?

Nah, the crotch shots could’ve been left out and never affected the show.

The two rapper dudes….Bad Bunny and J Balvin? Although carefully placed in the show they looked awkwardly out of place surrounded by beautiful women.

The shaking, wiggling etc…well there are two Latin women bringing it and it’s in their blood.

I’m sorta envious at how effortless they make dancing look.

The show though had so much symbolism and it all reflected their Latin heritage and spoke to some issues in our world today.

Perhaps that was the problem so many people had.

Latin women, Latin inspired show, idk hopefully there’s no racism smacking there.

The nod to America and Puerto Rico when she wore both flags with that stunning cape was to bring awareness to the need there…not to mention she is a Puerto Rican Amercian.

So much symbolism. I’ll let you look it all up if you don’t know what was behind it all.

The costumes? I thought everything was gloriously sparkly 😉 and loved how they used a silver and gold contrast at the end.

And the screaming over their costumes?

Let’s be real. Have you ever seen those costumes the cheerleaders wear every, single game in front of kids and God and everybody?

Yeah.

The bottom line

You will never make everyone happy.

Having a “good or bad ” show will be subjective to the individual.

The headlining artists are posted well in advance. If it doesn’t float your boat, or you’re worried about your children’s eyes, family values etc, just don’t watch.

I realize if that approach is taken people can’t complain or be appropriately shocked, something that many seem to enjoy participating in.

I personally thought it was a high energy show and I loved seeing empowered, strong women doing what they do best.

Just my sassy thoughts. What was your take on the half time show?

Hunger And Weight Loss

Ah,’tis the season for diets, resolutions, and a overwhelming flocking to the gym.

Along with all of that comes the need to follow fad diets or whatever current trendy diet Karen at the office is on.

With diets come lots of myths. One of those being you must be hungry (constantly) to lose weight.

Let’s look at two sides to the hunger games 😉

First, being hungry isn’t bad and won’t kill you….well eventually it would but I’m pretty sure you won’t get to that point.

Hunger, at the base level, is our God given, natural signal that our bodies need food. It’s like the low fuel light in your car.

That light comes on, you know you’ve got a number of miles before you run out of gas.

In a similar fashion when you start hearing those growling bear noises or feel that ache your body is telling you to fuel up.

Hopefully, you’ll give it good quality fuel…

Ideally, we would all follow our bodies cues.

Hunger like this is really ok and very normal.

Eat just enough to satisfy hunger and be comfortable and go on with your day.

Realistically, I doubt a lot of people even experience true hunger anymore as we’ve made habits to eat whenever time dictates we should, regardless of our bodies cues.

Eating more than we need with poor food choices is quite apparent with obesity at an all time high, and unfortunately in kids as well.

We eat regardless if we feel hungry. We eat for a whole lot of reasons… the clock says to eat, or our emotions, boredom, loneliness, etc none of those associated with true hunger.

In a perfect world we listen to our body and eat when we are hungry. We would allow ourselves to become hungry 30 minutes to an hour out from meals so we truly appreciate what we eat.

It’s really ok to leave food when your hunger is satisfied

We would eat enough, but not over eat because it tastes good. We again would listen to signals indicating our hunger is satisfied.

I always tell hubby food tastes so amazing to me when I’ve finished a hard workout, and by the time I’ve cleaned up my hunger is in full force and food truly tastes so much better when I’m honestly hungry.

**being hungry is ok and a normal feeling for our bodies indicating we need fuel.**

The other side of hunger

I follow a womans page on Facebook that has discussions on various topics.

One day a post came up with someone asking for the “best appetite suppressant”

Me….being me….responded with this….

“Eat adequate food.”

Listen, if you feel you need to suppress your appetite because your hungry, something isn’t going right.

If you feel the only way to lose weight or keep a certain “number ” on the scale is to constantly be hungry and not feed your body, something isn’t going right.

If you need a suppressant ( that can look like alot of things: filling up on liquids like coffee or water, using mints or gum, or an over the counter drug) something isn’t going right.

If you seek to supress your appetite, you’ve not had adequate food to satisfy your hunger and nourish your body. If you are hungry a small healthy snack usually does the trick.

Then move on with life.

You should not be in a state of ongoing hunger thinking about food, or how you can’t “have” food in a quest to lose weight.

**being hungry and withholding food or feeling we need to suppress our appetite isn’t a healthy way to live.**

A proper balance

Yes, when we begin a plan to drop a few pounds and reduce our calories a bit and make other adjustments we will feel hunger. (Refer to part one of post)

This would be the normal signals our bodies give us to eat. You will go through a learning process as your body adjusts. You can lose weight, eat adequate food, and go between meals without being hungry.

If you are you may need to examine…..

1. How much did you eat? Was it enough?

2. What did you eat? A meal rich in protein and healthy fat will keep you satisfied a long time. Empty calorie foods or meals lacking adequate protein with healthy fats will leave you hungry, sooner.

You don’t need to…

Feed your body minimal food that doesn’t satisfy your hunger and leaves you feeling like you need to “suppress ” your appetite.

Greatly restrict your calories to have a slow and steady weight loss. In fact doing so may actually slow your weight loss efforts.

Ignore your bodies natural cues to fuel it adequately. This deprives your body, and leaves you without adequate energy from not fueling yourself effectively.

Once you learn to follow your body you will eat when hungry, you will learn to eat just enough to satisfy you without over eating ( this can take a bit of practice) and you won’t feel a need to find ways to supress a natural appetite or use other unhealthy behaviors for weight loss.

Your turn…..tell me….have you learned to listen to your body when it comes to eating and keeping it satisfied? Or do you feel you still need to work on it?

It’s That Time Of Year

Every single holiday season I can’t help but notice.

Before the last sugar cookie is gone, the stockings are still hung by chimney with care, with the remnants of bows and ribbons still peeping out from hidden places, it has arrived.

What is “it”, you may be wondering?

The commercial reminder that you are “fat, over weight, out of shape and need to do something about it”.

It shows up in the stores where tasty treats used to be days before…. man made, processed food products to make you skinny now fill the aisles and shelves.

Drinks, potions, meal replacement shakes, pressed bars of some kind of concoction, protein this and that added to random food products….you name it…it’s there waiting to help you get skinny and fit.

After all, you cookie glutton, you over did it and need to atone for the sins of your eating.

Ugh! How I hate all of that!

I passed a woman picking up a pack of meal replacement shakes….I had to hold myself back from slapping them out of her hand and telling her not to do it.

Ha…can you imagine? 🤣

I’m passionate, what can I say?

Seriously though, it just makes me sad that so many will make their somber resolutions to get it “right” this year, to finally be successful at losing weight or hitting a new goal, but going about it all wrong.

The wrong way

There is a way that many think is “right” yet it’s almost always guaranteed to fail.

It looks something like this….

New year, time to get on track.

Make a resolute plan.

Eat up all the “bad” food because, hey, I’m dieting and there won’t be ANY fun foods allowed. Who knows when I’ll get to eat it again.

Prepare to diet by greatly restricting your calories in a greater deficit than you require ( this ensures you will be constantly hungry and thinking of food)

Eat tiny boring meals of “diet” type foods ’cause that’s what you’re supposed to do.

Remove any pleasurable foods from your day.

Constantly think of when you can eat again.

Pick up some type of exercise and throw yourself into it.. hard… ( hey does it really matter if your body is not at that fitness level yet? ) you have to work hard and punish yourself for eating and gaining weight.

Daily weigh in letting the scale be your judge and jury. Loving yourself if it gives you what you want, being disgusted if the numbers don’t come up like you hope.

Repeat this process a week, maybe two, losing a couple pounds before running back to your normal life like a comfy old friend.

You resign yourself to always being this way.

The right way

Ok, I was kinda being funny, but the sad part is, this is very much a reality for lots of people.

They have good intentions and want to be successful but just go about it in the wrong way.

What can work? How do you once for all get over the place you’re in?

Keep it simple.

Nothing says you have to do all kinds of hard, crazy, or painful things to reach your health and fitness goals.

Instead, consider this:

Don’t make over blown promises with unattainable goals. Telling yourself you’re going to workout 5 days a week when you haven’t done anything is unattainable.

Saying you will commit to a 5-10 minute walk each day is much more short term and easily accomplished goal.

Instead of “making” yourself eat healthy foods why not experiment with a couple new healthy options that sound appealing to you. Try a new dish or fruit or vegetable. Cut out a sugary drink, eat a little less. Modify portions.

Weigh only once a week with the goal being 1-2 pounds which is sane and reasonable.

Make a single, short daily commitment to yourself, anything that is positive and helpful to your fitness and health goals.

A daily commitment that takes 10 minutes or less is completely doable no matter the kind of day you are having.

Several weeks of keeping simple, daily commitments will show you that you can take steps towards bigger goals and be successful with them.

Simple resolutions will potentially keep you from quitting, empower you, and give you the confidence to move forward with bigger,life changing goals.

Tell me, what approach have you tried to weigh loss and fitness?

The Simplicity Of Christmas

**Disclaimer** this time of year makes me horribly reflective and often very nostalgic.

It’s also a perfect breeding ground for the musings of my mind, which in turn propels me to write……so I will be doing some fun family, Christmassy kinds of posts through the month because that makes me happy and there are other facets to me besides my focus on sane health and fitness …

You may now proceed…. 😊

Like many of you, I was scampering around doing some Christmas shopping today. I’ve scored a lot online which has been the cats meow but there were other things I prefer to search for in person.

Like for all the littles I shop for.

I want to hear what a toy sounds like, feels like, and more importantly, looks like.

Shopping for the kids is always fun. Seriously.

Maybe it’s just a time that I can just recall wonderful memories of childhood Christmases.

I still think baby dolls belong under the tree. I loved this doll.

Kids still have this untainted, happy, grateful attitude with Christmas that often gets lost as many grow older.

Kids don’t care if a certain “name” is on the gift….meaning designer things don’t impress them. They don’t care what store it came from or if they will be able to impress their little friends with it.

They don’t care about the cost. They aren’t leveling any judgment if they think you didn’t spend enough or if the quality isn’t up to their level of expectation.

Looking back, it was often the most random, inexpensive things our kids would love.

Children still have a refreshing grasp of Christmas. They embrace the magic and simplicity. They are still caught up in awe and wonder and the pure joy of receiving gifts.

This is why it makes it so fun and easy for me to shop for them.

Maybe, just maybe, in our grown up adulthood we could embrace some of those pure child like characteristics again at Christmas.

After all the first Christmas was filled with awe, wonder, and a whole lotta supernatural magical moments.

The first Christmas when Christ was born wasn’t by any means extravagant. It was simply embraced with awe and wonder, deep musings, and a whole lotta joy.

I hope in the hustle and bustle of this Christmas season you allow yourself to embrace it with the purity and simplicity of a wondering child, and that in the stillness of those moments you also find the pure beauty and simplicity in the birth of our Savior, Jesus, the most amazing gift of all.

Why Women Should Strength Train

So I’ve been camping on this idea for awhile now and after a particularly strong and energetic week I decided to get it out, dust it off, and talk about it.

Between physical therapy and those single leg presses ( do you hurt after doing them? they ask.. all 30 reps….Me…nooo.) ok then add ten more, 40 reps per side with your 165lb weight.

I like how they challenge me.

Plus, add the strength training I do at home, it’s been a vigorous week. My deadlifts are at 185 with me currently doing about 3 sets of 4. Baby steps ya’ll…baby steps…I mean this is literally picking up 185 dead weight straight off the floor…not bad for the old lady group 🤣

My workouts include body weight work as well as using a kettlebell, dumbbells, and weighted bar. Resistance bands come in handy too.

I didn’t start here, I’ve come along way from my little 8lb dumbbells from several years ago!

I do talk a lot about the importance of strength training, for women and men, and the crucial role it can play in our lives.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be old and weak.

Old may happen, weakness doesn’t need to.

Why strength train?

Let’s define that first. Strength training can be accomplished using just your body ( we all have those!) And with the obvious, weights for lifting. Both are done to build more physical strength

Strength training is the best way to increase muscle mass, keep body fat at bay, and increase overall strength.

Even in todays world women who participate in formal or consistent weight training is extremely low with many opting only for cardiovascular exercise. If you’re a woman, you shouldn’t be avoiding weights, and you should take strength training seriously.

Let’s look at reasons why

* you will get physically stronger. If there is one thing I love about how my workouts carry over into my daily life, it’s being strong and very capable to handle anything. I love being able to move and lift things without needing help.

Not because I want to feel tough( well maybe a little 😉) but because it’s rather empowering.

I often help customers unload equipment at my sons engine shop. I love the looks I get when I tell a man I will help unload.

One guy…”well it’s pretty heavy…I mean you look strong but it’s heavy..”

I didn’t tell him I was more concerned he wouldn’t be able to deliver on his end than mine.

A well trained womans body is as capable as a man. Strength is not gender specific.

Increasing your strength will make you far less dependent on others. Increasing your strength also means daily tasks and routine exercise will be less likely to cause injury.

Do you know….. research concludes that even moderate strength training can increase a womans strength by 30 to 50 percent. Research also shows a woman can develop her strength at the same rate as a man.

You’ll lose some fat

Studies show the average woman who trains 2-3 times a week, for two months, can gain nearly 2 pounds of muscle and lose 3.5 lbs of fat.

And for the record…you don’t turn fat into muscle….the times I read that in places…nor can you claim gaining weight as muscle after working out for 2 weeks. It takes consistent work and time.

You’ll gain strength without bulk

For whatever reason, if there’s a myth out there regarding women and weight lifting, it’s this.

They worry about getting “bulky”.

Sorry ladies, we just don’t have the genetic makeup for that to happen. We lack the hormones and honestly we aren’t gonna eat enough and workout hard and long enough to even come close.

What will happen? You will develop muscle “tone” and muscle definition and that’s a huge win.

You will decrease your risk of osteoporosis

Weight training can increase spinal bone mineral density (and enhance bone modeling) this coupled with adequate dietary calcium is our best defense against osteoporosis.

You can improve your athletic performance

No matter what you do, strength training can not only improve your athletic ability, it can protect from injuries as well.

You will reduce your risk of back pain, injury and arthritis

Strength training not only builds stronger muscles but also builds stronger connective tissues and increases joint stability. This acts as reinforcement for the joints and helps prevent injury. Strengthening the low-back muscles can help in eliminating or alleviating low-back pain. Weight training can ease the pain of osteoarthritis and strengthen joints.

Will reduce your risk of heart disease
Weight training can improve cardiovascular health in several ways, including lowering LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, increasing HDL (“good”) cholesterol and lowering blood pressure. When cardiovascular exercise is added, these benefits are maximized.

Weight training can help with peri menopause symptoms

During midlife women have often put on weight, become more sedentary, and do not exercise which can enhance the symptoms women complain of during the years of peri menopause and menopause.

Fatigue, hot flashes, low mood or depression, weight gain and muscle aches and pains and other issues are often complained about. Strength training can often help combat these symptoms or offer some level of relief. Strength training decreases body fat, increases muscle mass, and optimizes hormones, not to mention, getting stronger is a great mental boost too.

Finally, it’s never to late to benefit
Women in their 70s and 80s have built up significant strength through weight training and studies show that strength improvements are possible at any age. Note, however, that a strength training professional should always supervise older participants.

Adding strength training to your weekly exercise ( 2-3 times a week) man or woman will give you great benefits that will help you in all areas of your life.

Your turn.. is strength training a part of your week? What benefits have you seen doing it?