Spring And The Great Outdoors

Hello to my 1.5 readers out there. Yes, I’m still over here kicking it.  Thought I should get something out so you don’t start reading the current tabloids or something else as  um…. entertaining.

Ok honestly, I had my little 18 month granddaughter while her mommy and daddy were out of town for three days.

Let me tell you this… I don’t do anything that requires  more focus than a nano second of a gnat when I’ve got her.  This means writing or anything else that requires a level of skill.

Mainly ’cause I’m making sure she isn’t dive bombing off a chair, eating colors, or trying to ride the English Mastiff, just to name a few things.

She is bright and oh so smart, endearingly cute, can do her baby talk like crazy ( once she puts the words together her parents will never have a quiet moment) and is quick to mimic anything you show her. She is very social ( that doesn’t fall far from the family tree with her daddy and her nanny 😉 and loves being outside, which worked well for me ’cause I do too.  We spent plenty of time outside enjoying the sunshine, wind and absolutely perfect temperatures.

It’s pretty hard for me to stay in when conditions are like that. It’s why I’m already tanned too haha

But yeah, writing, it’s hard to sit and get at that. And by the time she’s down for night I just want to chill.

All I can say is I’m glad I have the energy to keep up with her! Not just that but also cart her and her baby stuff to and from the car. Ah the good ‘ol days! That’s really how muscles are built haha

Seriously though, this morning… this is what I was back to doing….

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Happy sunny spring miles

Of course, last week before my baby duties, this is what I was up to…

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According to my watch I was moving….

I glanced down at my watch and of course I’m thinking… why can’t I do this speed up hills?? haha

Seriously, though it’s April. I’ve gotta start getting ready to get back into serious training for the duathlon in November. Nothing like a little dual sports to keep me on my toes 😉

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this is what multi sport training days look like 😛

 

So besides athletic shenanigans, it was also a productive weekend for some new furniture findings. I usually write about these in my Monday Musings posts but due to situations mentioned above, Monday Musings will resume next week

However, you can find one or two of them here if you wanna check it out….

https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2018/04/09/monday-musings-9/

https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2018/04/02/monday-musings-8/

https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2018/03/26/monday-musings-7/

 

But I will share what I found cause I think I got some cool goodies.

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How about an old school telephone bench?

 

 

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this cute little vanity…
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So clean inside the drawers, a nice treat to find.
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Of course, the original hardware is always my favorite part.

So that’s a sneak peak at some of my recent treasures. I got another side table but I’m to lazy to look for pic and load it up here haha

And yes, I know, I keep saying I’m doing an entire post on my adventures and I promise to work on it soon.

The ** not featured** table, I met the lady in a parking lot to make the purchase. I don’t make drug deals… I’m dealing furniture…

Anyway she says “Oh, do you do furniture restoration?”

Me… “oh,  I dabble in it a little” haha not confessing I’ve turned into a little one woman show flipping stuff.

Hubby, when I told him that says… “dabble? a little?”

Maybe a bit more than a little 😉

So spring is in the air…..

It’s hard to keep me inside when the weather is so perfect. I just want to be out in it and of course it is perfect to work on my projects outdoors.

But along with that comes the idea many people get of wanting to start moving more and getting some exercise.

I often get asked what is the best exercise to do.

I will say that anyone, no matter what your fitness level, can walk. If you’re wanting to get out and enjoy the spring weather walking is a wonderful way to clear your mind, get some cardio work ( you gotta move it though!) It requires no special equipment ( some decent shoes help) and you can pace yourself at a level you can handle at your own physical abilities. You can pick up the speed as you get stronger and you can increase distance gradually to let your body adapt.

I’ve shared before, walking is where my athletic beginnings have root. You never know where those evening walks may lead you 😉

Spring days… who feels like cooking

One thing about longer days and more opportunities to be outdoors means I sometimes don’t want to be in the kitchen. This is where I fall back on using my trusty crock pot or utilizing some of my tasty, yet healthy, one pan dishes. You can find all my one pan recipes on my Pinterest page, Sassyfitnesschick, under one pan dinnersI’ll share one with you I made last night.

So tasty and so easy!

 

this tasty Mexican inspired meal was also a success. This is easy to make ahead and pop in oven closer to meal time.

So that’s a wrap. It’s been a busy week for me and the rest of it promises the same.

Tell me do you have an tried and true simple recipes that are healthy, quick and get you out of the kitchen ? What are some of your favorite spring time activities?

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Monday Musings

So it’s Sunday evening and I have to say, it’s been the most bipolar, weird weather kinda weekend.  We got a unexpected cold front down here in the deep South, say what??

Spring is in the air and all that.. but no… we got some really crisp, chilly air over the weekend to liven things up.

Of course, by this afternoon I was out cutting grass in shorts and a tank top 😛

This last burst of chilly air let me wear some of my fav clothes before they got put away for the season.

Well, I honestly thought they WERE put away….but then…..

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Got spring like…. while I’m wearing my fav flannel and beanie one last time for this season… I think…

Speaking of grass… with spring and some rain comes grass that show’s up faster than relatives for dinner.

Today was the first venture into this seasons grass cutting. I like cutting grass.

Weird, I know.

I also use a push mower, which I view as extra cardio work. Grown men tell me I’m crazy. For some reason they seem to prefer their “riding mower”.

I have like 80 acres to cut so it is a bonus workout. Well, perhaps I exaggerate a wee bit, but I do have over a solid acre and a half of wilderness to cut back.

I have my ipod in, and am usually in shorts and my bikini top so I get to work on my tan too. It’s kinda of a win/ win thing.

There’s something really satisfying about doing it and seeing it all neatly clipped and tidy that makes it all worth it.

Till next week….

Do you like to cut the grass?

And meanwhile, some of ya’ll are digging out of snow… snow. Good heavens.

As things go in the South though, we will move from spring to baking heat in a swift time leaving these cool days a distant memory.

For now though. we enjoy.

Mild weather does make for enjoyable outdoor exercise

Last weeks athletic shenanigans had me on the road on foot and bike. The mornings were cool enough to make me appreciate the spring day, but had me working up a decent sweat by the time I got back home.

A week in my fitness life isn’t complete without some strength training days. I tried out a couple new things which I always enjoy. Not only does it keep boredom from setting in, it’s a good way to constantly be working different muscle groups. I’ll share a couple I tried…..

 

It looks kinda innocent right? But if you’re crunched for time, this 15 minute workout will, work you out. When you’re under the gun to get in as many rounds as possible “amrap” you stay focused to task at hand.

This was another I had “fun” with.  Those kettlebells will get ya every time. If you don’t have kettlebells you can use a dumbbell.

Keep in mind, you can always modify these exercises to your personal fitness level. I use a 35 lb kettlebell and I do butterfly situps with a 25lb weight plate to make it a bit more challenging.

That’s how I modify it for myself. You might need to do less reps to start or with no weights in the beginning. Don’t be afraid to experiment to find what works best for you. You can always increase each week.

These short timed exercises work all of your body, fire up your metabolism and keep it burning long after you’re finished. These sessions are great when you need to make use of a short amount of time.

The week in food

exercise isn’t the only thing I experimented with. I tried out a few new recipes on the fam. Either they are extremely grateful to eat or it’s really good I’m not sure which but everything was devoured so I think it’s a good sign.

this broccoli beef recipe is so ridiculously easy and so good. The broccoli gets tossed in while the rice cooks and it’s on the table.

http://www.kraftrecipes.com/recipes/slow-cooker-bbq-beef-145861.aspx?cm_mmc=Social-_-Pinterest-_-CPC-_-SlowCookerBBQBeef&pp=1

And who can resist a pulled meat sandwich? this was super simple by tossing a couple chuck roasts in on low all afternoon then having it ready for an easy simple dinner.

In the way of “foods I haven’t experimented with yet”

Chickpeas.

There’s so much about them and they are supposed to be really good for you so I’m thinking this will be a topic to explore soon.

Have you tried them?

and if you’ve been following my furniture flipping adventures….

wow… I actually finished off another piece this week. I’m so in love with it. I scooped it up at this dive thrift store a month or so ago. I love the sweet classic style and adorable fixtures on it.  It’s a early 1920’s serpentine drawer dresser. It was missing one castor ( the wheels they used to put furniture on back in the day) thankfully, I can order some through the beauty of Ebay to fix that little issue. As you will see it was a bit needy looking when I dragged it home.

Those are my most favorite pieces…

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the top was a bit of a mess…..
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In the works! The top sanded down pretty well, testing out the new color 😉

 

And finally, ya’ll say hello to Olivia 🙂

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She still needs a wheel 😛
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Ah! Look how beautiful the fixtures cleaned up
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I try and leave as much original as I can… a peek at the drawer sides…

I always thought this piece was so feminine. The colors and look were very visual in my head for the longest time. Olivia seemed a perfect name for this project with pretty lines and hardware. Therefore, it sorta surprised me that as I cleaned and worked with the drawers the scent of sweet tobacco was very present. It reminded me of what my best friends dad used to smoke in his pipe.

I thought it was me, but my kids smelled it and agreed it smelled like sweet tobacco.

A bit to late to change it to something masculine haha…

Anyway, this is by far, one of my most favorite finished pieces. Both my daughter in laws asked me “are you planning to sell this?”

When I told them no they were happy to hear it as it seems to be their favorite so far too. Besides, it already has a perfect place to live in my home. 🙂

I have a couple other things that are soooo close to being done. You’ll get a peek next week at those.

I need to cease my chattering at you and get moving towards my bed. It has been a long…day…

I’ll leave you with this,

As we head into a new week there are so many things to look forward to and new opportunities for us. I’m always grateful for the chance to experience new things and to appreciate the “normal” things in life as well.

Tell me, what are you looking forward to? What opportunities do you have ahead of you?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monday Musings

So it’s Sunday evening and I’m attempting to recuperate from a busy Easter weekend. I love having family around and all the controlled chaos that goes with grown kids, their spouses and grand babies. My daughter in laws birthday also landed on this weekend so it was just a whole lotta cooking and food and more food.

I know this.  My body just doesn’t dig the richer foods or extra it isn’t used to. I don’t mean I over eat, it’s just that nibbling on stuff never lets me be hungry. And of course, cooking, it  seems I’m sampling something, a hazard of the job I guess.

I was up late Saturday night assembling like… a zillion Easter baskets.  Yeah, all my kids are adults. Yeah, they all still expect Easter Bunny to deal up the goods. Last year I got all clever thinking I’d just do “couples” baskets for the married ones.

I almost had a revolt on my hands….sooooo… I didn’t do that this year 😛

But the candy… I’m always worried I won’t have enough and it will be midnight and I’ll be short on what I need and then I’ll find myself shaking old tic tacs out of my purse to fill in the gaps.

However, the opposite usually happens. I realize I have like 40lbs left after filling up everyone’s baskets ( this happens at Christmas too)

I’m so prepared. I’m turning into my mother.

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What do I DO with all of this now??

So yeah, adequate sugar. Am I the only one who has thought that candy companies have us over a barrel from Halloween through Easter? I still have Christmas candy for heavens sake.

I’m  rather sick of it all.

I think the first few pieces are really the best, after that it’s just, well eaten ’cause it’s around. When I hold out and don’t have candy for awhile, especially chocolate, those first little pieces are always like euphoria.

Admit it, I’m right aren’t I?

Of course Easter morning always starts with homemade yeast cinnamon rolls.. if I’m lucky I get one to chase along with my coffee while I’m doing a hundred other things. My sons will arm wrestle for the last one in the pan….

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Who needs canned rolls??

Last year, I made beautiful cupcakes that were loaded with an obscene amount of cream cheese frosting in happy spring colors. Needless to say, the fam was asking if they were making an appearance again….

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Yeah, when I’m not running, cycling, writing, or flipping antique furniture, I love making pretty things

 

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An Easter tree ’cause…why not?

Anyway, overall, I’d say it was a successful Easter weekend. I made those amazing carrots again and I’ll add recipe at the end. I shared it in my spotlight on carrots post, if you missed it, find it here.  https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2018/03/02/spotlight-on-carrots/

I’m just ready to get back to eggs and veggies and zero sugar. What about you?

In other news of the week….

Kinda stoked over finishing the little 1930’s waterfall vanity I picked up a month ago. I really wanna post like….80 pics… but I’ll try and limit myself here haha

 

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Say hello to Belle. This is what she looked like when I dragged her home. I love the hardware on it as well as the decorative design that is still in amazingly good condition.
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Look at the original wheat design on vanity, it’s on handles too.
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Here’s Belle in her finished glory 🙂 I cleaned up handles and I always try to maintain what is “original” to piece, like the wheat design. The crisp colors compliment it so nicely
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Even after cleaning the inside of drawers, they were still a bit crusty. So, some pretty paper took care of that issue. You can see dovetailed joints of drawers.

Belle was another one of those “better idea” projects someone had. As you can tell they had sanded top down but didn’t progress further than that.  It also had a broken drawer with a missing piece. It didn’t stop me from dragging it home. Hubby is pretty amazing and actually cut a fit a perfect piece to rebuild drawer. He also did the dovetailing on it too. He never ceases to amaze me and what he can do. I do like to maintain as much as possible on a piece, but sometimes human “help” or just time ( at close to 90 years old it can have some issues that need a current fix to make it usable again)

I’m so happy with how it came out. This is a piece I’m selling and hope finds a happy home to love her. I can’t tell you how satisfying it is to watch something old and tired, come to life again.

I have a couple other pieces on the verge of being revealed too. Like my sad, pathetic 10.00 table. Talk about someone’s “better idea” project. Poor thing.

I’ll keep you posted 😉

So my battery also decided to start dying in my phone….

I hadn’t planned on a new phone last week but long story short, it was more practical to do that than attempt to get the battery out of my not so very old phone to have a new one put in.  The upside to it? It does take some amazing photos ( as you can see with my Easter and cupcake pics and the pics of Belle)

Given I do photos for my blog, ( tell me you appreciate them!) and will be posting pics of my flipped furniture to sell, and well hey, selfies too ya know? ‘Cause I’m like “one of those people” haha

The phone is a definite bonus to also being able to communicate with people who want me.  Imagine that.

I never really thought much about how much I use my phone for when I’m out on the go. I ran into Starbucks for a coffee and was like…” Ah.. no phone. No app. No pay.”  I had to use my bank card/ aka cash.  So many other ways I use it that I became aware of not having it for awhile.  It’s weird how dependent we become on stuff like that, isn’t it?

And finally, how about some food?

I made a few new recipes this weekend I’ll share with you that were the bomb. Find them below….

I used this carrot recipe at lunch. I didn’t have maple syrup this time so I drizzled a little honey on them and it was just as tasty….

https://www.southyourmouth.com/2015/10/southern-style-green-beans-potatoes.html#_a5y_p=4748504

The fresh green bean recipe with red potatoes and crisp bacon bites was rather yummy. But the best part was the delicious chocolate cake I made for my daughter in laws birthday.

You just can’t go wrong with chocolate cake. It’s like… heaven. This recipe was so moist and the frosting was the kind you just wanted to slather all over you.

https://www.averiecooks.com/2017/05/best-triple-chocolate-layer-cake.html

Just note, I realized after I was starting the cake, it wasn’t a triple layer cake, only a 2 layer cake. It was really good though so I might overlook that 😉

We topped it off with coffee ice cream making it a perfect dessert, or so we believed.

And a last one… who doesn’t love a good roast? Who doesn’t love not having to labor forever over it? I used this recipe for Friday night dinner and it was amazing. The meat just fell apart. I thickened the broth right in crock pot and let it simmer a bit to make a gravy.

There were no left overs.  And once again, I’ll stress, with the beautiful weather and longer days, I want to be outside, not having to spend tons of time on food prep. Crockpot meals are where it’s at.

ok so share… how was your week? Do you use crockpots? if so, any favorite meals? How was your Easter?

 

 

Monday Musings

Hello world! Time for another edition of Monday Musings, a general collection of my random thoughts, observations, and other life stuff that’s going down.

So what about that Super Bowl last weekend? Between hubby and three sons I’ve had to get on the football wagon in these past years or get left behind.

That being said, I weirdly miss it once the “big” game happens and then there’s nothing active or current going on with it. I actually got excited last fall when someone said it was almost football season.

What happened to me???

That being said… of course I was watching last weeks events unfold with the Patriots “we’re just here to scoop up another ring” and the Eagles “we’ve never won and have no rings but are ready to bring our A game”  to the big field.

Ok… so I’m always a sucker for the underdog. I can’t help it. Damn that compassionate spirit and what not. I wanted to see them have the win. The other guys, they’ve got enough bragging rights and rings, they can try next year.

And what a game it was. The Eagles came out and played like they wanted to take the win, the ring, and the Disneyland trip home with them. Not that Patriots didn’t try and deliver, they just didn’t deliver, enough.

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So although I was only like, one of two, cheering for the Eagles win it didn’t matter. It was a cool experience watching men overcome with emotion to achieve that. As an athlete ( on a much smaller scale!) I understand emotions that come from the accomplishments of doing something you haven’t done before.

It’s worth the tears.

Speaking of athletic shenanigans

This last week I’ve spent a little more time doing indoor strength training. When I say that I don’t mean solely weights, although I do. But, like using your body and that alone, is the way to build some strength. No matter what you may or may not have, you have a body and can do exercises to build strength with it.

Squats of all varieties, lunges, jump squats, jumping jacks, mountain climbers, push ups, ( sweet heavens how I hate them) Russian twists, planks, side planks, V up’s the list goes on.

So I incorporate a lot of that, I use real weights too ’cause you know…girl muscles… and I kinda like out flexing most guys haha but seriously, I just like being strong for life, ya know?

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Girl muscles

 

 

Oh yeah, and some cardio ’cause you need to do that stuff. Your heart and lungs honestly will thank you. If you missed my post on heart health and why your heart wants you to do cardio find it here…  https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2018/02/08/your-happy-healthy-heart-2/

It’s great to build muscles, but if you can’t walk a block or run a flight of stairs, um, you need to rethink cardio.

So before strength training I usually knock out either 10 minutes on the rowing machine which gives me around 1.3 miles or so, I sometimes do a 20 minute round of boxing or a quick run. Of course other days in my week are nothing but cardio….enter running and cycling 😉

Speaking of strength ….

the winter Olympics are upon us. Although I haven’t seen much yet, can I say all the snowboarding athletes. Holy cow Batman!

And Americans have been scooping up some gold goodies too.

The Olympics are the cream of the lot when it comes to athletes. I wanna be one when I grow up.

Complete, total machines.

I’m fascinated at all they have had to do, and continue to do to maintain the level the operate at.

Well. Wait. Do they have like… a senior Olympics? I might be able to do that! haha

Do you have a favorite Olympic sport or event you enjoy watching?

In fun projects I’ve been up to this week….

So I may have mentioned when I’m not preaching athletic stuff or learning about nutrition one of my other “hobbies” has become old, antique furniture. There’s a certain thrill of “the hunt” and if I’m successful I get “the prize”.  I want the odd, unique, different things I don’t see floating around. It’s so exciting when I get the prize AND for the price I want.

There’s something therapeutic about transforming a piece and giving it new life.

Like this ugly little night stand…. I’m so in love with how it turned out….

I wanted a project piece to experiment with pink. I love pink. I just wanted something to practice that look on. This night stand was headed to the dumpster when I snatched it from my son thinking I’d clean it up and donate it. One day while working out as I was pondering my desire to do something pink, I realized this was just sitting there, staring at me waiting to be transformed….

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the obvious before photo…. isn’t it ugly??
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Isn’t it beautiful now???

Since I really had nothing to lose it was fun to let go with it. The piece had been speaking to me and I had a vision for what to do with it. Now I really want to practice this on a bigger real piece of furniture. Like an old school vanity….

Anyway…..

I also got this super cool, unique, interesting piece this week, I’ve never seen anything like it….

 

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My newest score this week on the antique furniture hunt

 

Thankfully, I came across a man who is very knowledgeable in this work of knowing furniture. I shamelessly pick his brain on various things regarding a couple pieces I got recently. So of course, when I could turn up nothing on this ( for the love of old things I don’t even know WHAT to call it to search it up) I shot him a pic asking if he had a clue.

Oh lucky me. He knows his stuff… and this is what I learned….

A dresser like this is called a cheval dresser. He went on to say based on the hardware ( which I’m in love with and can’t believe it’s all still on it… with a real key hole) he thinks it’s English made and made of quartersawn oak and get this… circa 1900! AH!

One interesting factoid you probably don’t know…. As I’ve acquired a few pieces recently I of course, want to know how old it is. Evidently at the turn of the century (20th) they stamped the mirror on the back before putting the wood cover over it. This would reveal the month and year it was made. You can understand how tempting it is for me to want to pull the back off of a vanity mirror to know it’s age.. but then there are all of the neat brass tacks holding it in place and that checks me from doing it.

For now….

Anyway, he went on to tell me if I can look behind mirror, if the back of mirror is red or gold it was made in England. If it’s silver, it’s American. Regardless, it’s still circa 1900 wherever it was crafted.

So ok, yeah I’m a wee bit excited at this online find. Oh, did I mention I paid only 80.00 for it?

Eighty bucks.

Obviously my remodel thoughts on it now are quite a bit different as I will be sanding it back to it’s original beautiful wood tone… it will be so worth it.

I love a good challenge.

The wood around mirror top has some broken pieces so that’s where I’m setting my hand to first. Then, on to the next thing.

My other acquisition this week was a 1920’s ladies writing desk….

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1920 Sligh ladies writing desk

 

So it’s been a busy kinda week, but a fun, good kinda busy. I love doing so many creative things. Writing is definitely a wonderful outlet, exercise is always a creative time, but transforming things let’s more of my creativity come out. Stay tuned in upcoming weeks for updates on their transformation.

Tell me, what do you enjoy doing? What’s your passion or something you have a love for that makes your heart sing?