Monday Musings

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

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

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

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

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

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

It takes me on adventures dragging it home….

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

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

It looked like this….

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

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

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

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

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

Yeah 10.00.

I’ll let you take a look at it….

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I have been up to other things too….

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

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

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

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

That organizing thing….

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

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

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

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

And finally….

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

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

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

And the chicken stew was amazing as well.

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

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

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Monday Musings

Hello world and happy Monday! I’ve got a few things rolling through my head for todays Musings edition…

First, I think next to people making resolutions to lose weight, another top item on the list for many is getting more organized/tidy/having less junk… I mean…”valuable stuff”…. taking up their space.

Enter a little Japanese dynamo named Marie Kondo, an organizing consultant who helps people get rid of their useless valuables.

I can’t claim a long term following of her or her ways as I innocently stumbled on her while Googling some value fact or bit of info I was after one day. I read the article, noted the before and after of neatly arranged drawers and thought…. hmmm… maybe I’ll just give  her version of drawer organizing a whirl.

First, though, if you’ve missed out on the movement of “KonMari”, get on the cool kids bus with us.

It simply means gathering all of your belongings, one category at a time, touching them, thanking them for their service ( ok odd I know… not sure how much of that I’ll be doing 😛 ) and only keeping those things that “spark joy”, then you donate what doesn’t.

The idea is to be left with only things that make you happy and bring joy.

Ok that sounds good to me…although I’ll state this here… I’ll never be a “minimalist”.

No offense if you are.  I need some things around me that breathe people live in my home. I want cozy and comfy with a tiny bit of something not always in it’s place.   I don’t like walking in somewhere and wondering where the person is who lives there, (personal touches) everything carefully staged, sterile if you will.

Just not my vibe.

But the less unimportant stuff that we all tend to keep around ’cause… maybe we don’t essentially feel moved to get rid of it, don’t know HOW to get rid of it… whatever the case?

Yeah, sign me up.

So as mentioned, I thought I’d start with a few drawers.

Easy…

And I knew it wouldn’t take huge amounts of time. If I “liked” it, I decided I’d move on to something bigger.

Her folding style is different from how most of us may fold. I tend to fold and stack things into the drawer. Her method is to fold into neat thirds and then you stand items up on end, like book spines sticking up. Then you can see at a glance exactly what you have and easily select it.

I started with hubby’s undie drawer. (sorry hubster) I figured it would be fast and then… I’d know…. if I should continue on.  Well, needless to say after I did his drawer, and had extra space that previously wasn’t there, I wanted to move to one of my athletic drawers ( yes I have more than one)

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So tidy!

So this drawer, made me crazy every morning. No matter how I folded things or kept shorts separate from sports bras, I was inevitably throwing stuff out looking for one particular item. Now, I open drawer and it’s all neat right in front of me, with space that wasn’t there previously!

I’m still trying to decide if I wanna apply this to socks. Some of you may know how I feel about socks… so those might be the LAST drawers I tackle. I will move on to my closet next and although I’ve cleaned out quite a bit before lil Marie tripped into my life, I realize I can go back for more.  I might be taking baby steps on some of this but it’s better than nothing, right?  It’s a 2019 goal for me.

I did do something fun in my week though….

Hubby and I took off to play tourist in our home area. Our kids had given us an  all inclusive stay at a gorgeous hotel on the riverwalk and we had gift cards to a local restaurant  for food. What’s better than a pre-paid escape??

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A view looking down from our room
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The river winds through the downtown area, below is the riverwalk area which covers a large area of downtown San Antonio.

We didn’t stay in the room of course, but did some roaming around enjoying the beautiful day.

I’m not sure what it is about being downtown, but it almost has it’s own energy, it’s vibe, of people and culture and times gone by that I love. I also love people watching too.

I was kinda shocked and delighted to see one of the buildings still decked out with Christmas. You know how much I love old school vintage and this Santa and Nutcracker were worth snapping….

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How cute is he?

We stopped outside the Ripley’s museum and couldn’t resist playing with the distortion mirror…..

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Here we are all distorted, tall (oops well I am tall haha) and awkwardly skinny. We preferred that over short, fat and wavy looking.

After roaming around all day, we headed out for dinner at a fun place called the Rainforest Café.

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This welcomes you…

So inside is like a rain forest, it has animals and they actually move and “act” like what they are…. we happened to be seated next to a bunch of gorillas… it got really loud ….

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This guy stared at me all night long…

Oh and of course we had to stop for a little coffee break while we were out… I love how they let you know you aren’t on your own coffee turf anymore.. hubby patiently waiting as he’s used to me taking random pics for my blog…..

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All in all it was a fun little weekend get away, and all rather close to home. Next time we’re going back for scooter rides….

Speaking of coffee…..

Dunkin’ Donuts just opened in our neck of the woods.  I happened to stumble in the first day, right after they opened, and decided to try their iced coffee.

Yes, it was good. I probably won’t be there as a permanent customer ’cause I’m on Starbucks rewards program and I get free stuff ya know…. and free is good… and not only that… I love so many of the people I’ve gotten to know there too.

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Winter gear and iced coffee… I know….

What about food?

I made this amazing scalloped potato recipe for a family dinner last week.  This won’t rank up there with slim and fit dishes, you gently boiled the peeled and sliced potatoes in heavy cream first!

Yikes, but they were tasty 😛 find the recipe below and dont’ forget to head to Pinterest and find my Sassyfitnesschick page for lots of great ( healthy) and wicked recipes, fitness tips and more.

https://pattyandersonsblog.blogspot.com/2015/03/steakhouse-potato-gratin.html

Your turn!

Is organization on your 2019 list to do? Have you heard of Marie Kondo? Or tried her methods? What other things are on your goal list this year?

 

 

 

 

Monday Musings

I was feeling kinda lazy and toying with not writing and then I thought about you, my 1.5 readers. I thought about you and how you’d be bleary eyed over your morning coffee looking for todays Monday Musings  and then it wouldn’t be there and you’d be mildly disappointed…ha… so here we are.

I do have a  few things I’m musing this week… as in….

How the heck do I have a 30 year old child now? Well, not a child a man for sure, but you know what I mean.

Tomorrow, he officially turns “30”.  For some reason he’s been dreading it like he’s now gotta sign up for AARP and get fitted for dentures or something.

I find myself pondering where 30 years rolled off to? I think I’m to young to have a child this age 😛

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A homemade 3 layer German Chocolate Cake

My first born son.

Sweet, kind hearted, gentle, ridiculously off the cuff funny, smart, ( he used to toss the directions for Leggo kits and just build them from sight), he impresses me with what he can teach himself and what he knows, he’s beautiful and comes in at about 6’5, a combination which often makes the opposite sex pay attention.

He’s also married and going to make me a grandmother again with a beautiful little girl in the spring 🙂

This is the gentle, compliable, laid back child that convinced us it was so fun we should have another one.

Enter my strong willed, stubborn, head strong, out spoken, bold second son. You know the shopping cart that refuses to go the right way and is constantly careening everywhere and you gotta keep a firm hand on it at all times? Yeah.  This child may be more like me than I want to admit… but he’s another story 😉

I joke it’s good the oldest one came first….

Life moves along and I think one of it’s biggest markers/milestones is watching your children grow up.  I’m blessed for sure with what I’ve been given and am so thankful to watch him celebrate another life milestone.

I realized this week sometimes I underestimate myself

Not often, but I do.

When I was asked before Christmas to offer up a wish list, it was on my mind to ask for heavier free weights. I have a variety of weights I use depending on what I’m doing, everything from light 15lb for higher reps, to a 35 lb kettle bell, and Olympic weights for all the other fun stuff. I had asked for 20lbs thinking that would be enough of a move up to make me work a bit harder than the lighter ones I used mostly for arm work

I did get the requested 20 lb weights.

What I realized is in the past months, the time I’ve been working out, my arms have gotten stronger than I realized and the 20 pounders felt, well, a bit breezey. ( Iguess tossing all that other heavy stuff around added up :-P)

As in, I easily curled off 12 reps without missing a beat. I knew if I wanted to be challenged more I’d need to up the weight. So I went to athletic store and played with the 25 and 30 pounds. Even though I use a 35 kettle bell, it’s usually with both hands so the single 30 was heavier for single arm work.

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I opted for the 25’s because it’s hard enough, and when I add more reps I really start to feel it. Doing renegade rows with them I REALLY feel them.

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Don’t know what a renegade row looks like? Here you go. It’s a little work for a lot of your body

Needless to say, I’ve got some new arm goals for this year 😉

The holidays are behind us, time to get productive again…

Meaning, I need to get back to flipping my vintage and antique furniture! My daughter in laws were asking me what I’d done lately and I’m like…uh nothing….

Tonight though, I finished off a chair that’s mine that’s been sitting waiting for a new seat and waxing over the paint. I love this old chair, it’s legs and weathered details. I bought it in horrible condition for 10.00. It now looks pretty, distressed, usable and cute with my old Sligh desk I refinished last year.

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I love the spindle back
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I love the legs 🙂

Want to read more about what I do in my uh…spare time? Find my posts here…

https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2018/05/22/the-art-of-flipping-furniture/

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

In the way of really, really cool things….

Do you remember, way back in April of last year, there was a Southwest Airplane that the engine blew out on ? The pilot, a woman named Tammie Jo Shults, calmly, successfully, navigated and landed the plane to safety with only one engine and a hole in the cabin after a window blew out.

Here’s the super cool thing.

I’ve gone to church with her for years.

I remember one summer doing VBS ( vacation bible school) with her and finding out she was a pilot and being in awe of that…and then finding out later she’d been a Navy fighter pilot.. the first woman to do so.

I mean, really, that seemed like a crazy, cool kinda job.

Needless to say, when that day happened and we heard about it, but then it got really closer to home when we all started hearing who the pilot was.

I tell you all this because this morning she shared her story during the morning worship service.

Before she spoke they played clips with  air traffic control and her in the cockpit during that unnerving flight while pictures of the plane were shown.

To say it was moving is an understatement.

Soft spoken, well articulated with a good sense of humor, she shared her personal insights from that day.

Already a strong and committed Christian, she gave a beautiful testimony of peace and trust in God during that time. She said “I realized quickly that today could well be the day I meet my Maker” but then she said” I also knew we were still in the air and flying but somehow knowing the truth that it could be a possibility, a calm settled over me as I began to do what I needed to do. ”

This is the calm steady voice you will hear on the audio tapes from that day.

She jokingly said one of her sons friends had commented “Your Mom is so calm!” and his response was, “No she’s not, you should see her when I leave my dishes in the sink!”

She talked about the unsure, scary moments when the engine went out, the cabin losing pressure, smoke in the cockpit, not being able to hear, see, or breathe, how horribly loud everything was and how badly the plane was shaking.

She wondered if it would be able to stay together to fly. With one engine gone and parts of the plane destroyed with it, she said the left side was essentially like having an “anchor in the air”.

She talked about the pain she still feels knowing a woman lost her life that day and how she has kept up with her family. She mentioned passengers that she said were the “true hero’s that day” and her crew that did an amazing job at handling such a difficult situation.

Listening to her speak about that day was not only interesting to hear her personal account, but also to here her share about her steady and unwavering faith in God even in the midst of such turmoil and difficulties was encouragement to us all.

I can’t top that…..

What a story, right?

I’ve got a busy week ahead and ideas for new topics to bring you. One post I’m looking forward to writing is a comparison post on low carb vs. keto. Are they the same? Different? What are the good and not so good points on them? And lots more ideas as well.

Your turn… what do you have going on in this new week of a new year?

 

 

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.

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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?

 

 

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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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?

 

 

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?