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Wellness Wednesday- You Spin Me Right Round Baby, Right Round!

On my new path to a healthier lifestyle I have discovered many things about myself.  One of those things being that when it comes down to it, I can do anything I put my mind too.  Spinning just happens to be one of those things.

Personally, I have always thought that Spin classes were/are very intimidating.  I mean seriously, the padded butt pants, special shoes, everyone has 1% body fat and does triathlons.   Now there is absolutely nothing wrong with those people, as a matter of fact I kind of aspire to be somewhat like that eventually-but I am not quite there just yet (I hope you can hear the severe sarcasm).  When I joined the MAC I just stuck to classes I knew from previous bouts of physical activity.  Than I noticed something on the Group Fitness schedule, a Cycle Lite class.  Now that looked appealing.  What it is is a 30 minute Spin Class.  A great place for someone that has never done a Spin class or is not in the most tip top of shape just yet.

I went.  Guess what?  I LOVED IT!  Oh my goodness, it was exhilarating.  I sweat like I never have before.  I felt good mentally (which was surprising).  I love it so much I do that class twice a week in hopes to jump up to the 45 minute class very soon.

You get in a zone.  Its just you, your spin bike, great music, and a challenge ahead of you.  All I can say is if you belong to a gym, the YMCA, have Parks & Recreation programs, or any other fitness outlet, please give it a try.  Its not for everyone, but it really did surprise me.  If you want to learn more about basic Spinning go here.  Trust me you don’t need the fancy pants, shoes, or muscle head to do this ( I have none of the above).  I will warn you that after the first time my bottom (rear end, butt, booty, whatever) was very very sore.  But never fear it goes away if you keep doing it.  As a matter of fact, after the first five minutes of the first class I went to, I stood up on my bike the rest of the time.  The instructor told me that doing it that way is more advanced.  I replied that my legs were a lot stronger than the inside muscles of my ass.  She obviously laughed and than I did proceed to walk like I rode a horse from California to Michigan for a couple days.  But, YES I went back.  YES I love it.  Step outside of your comfort zone and try a Spin class!

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Mama Make it Better!

Please excuse my absence for a bit, it has been a busy couple of weeks just enjoying family time instead of computer time.  Its hard to keep up in the summer, especially when our family is so dedicated to outdoor play.  So for my two readers, I know how much you all missed me!

With all that out of the way, I can honestly say that as a mother I have come across a very large milestone.  This may not sound big to you at first, but if you think about it-it really is a big one.  My beautiful 4 1/2 year old daughter has grown up.  That’s right!  Not in all areas but in the area I am about to address.  Trust!  I know some of you parents out there have had a child that has injured themselves (minorly to us, majorly to them) and they just will not let you touch it.  Soooooooo frustrating to me!  For example, about six weeks ago my daughter got a sliver.  Wouldn’t let me touch it.  I was so frustrated with her, for just not letting me fix it.  Than of course my mind went to those dark corners- she is going to get infected, the sliver is probably chemically treated wood, blah blah blah, she might lose her pinky toe.  I don’t know…ridiculous.

But within the last couple of weeks I think our relationship as mother and daughter has really blossomed into something very “grown up”.  A mutual understanding that I can take care of her and make it better (most of the time).  I made hydrogen peroxide fun.  I made neosporin fun.  I made tweezers fun.  But best of all, I made injuries interactive.  We are both the “Fix-It” ladies.

I told her the bubbles from the peroxide were little cleaning bubbles and were making the cuts, slivers, “booboos” all better.  She loved it.  She even dumped it on her foot.  I let her put on the neosporin with a Q-tip.  I let her call the shots when I was removing the sliver.  If it hurt, she said “STOP”.

I really think I have stumbled, accidentally, across something.  Empower your children with the ability to make decisions rationally.  If you are calm, they will be calm (not all the time, but most of the time).  This age (4-5) is an age of independence, learning, and curiosity.  Let them help with things like this.  Not only does it help them to trust you and not be scared, but it teaches them the consequence of getting hurt and how to properly take care of yourself.

I am so very proud of her.  She has come leaps and bounds from the whining and bursting into tears days.  Its very rare that we ever have that happen any more.  My baby is growing up and so gracefully.  My next mission with this “medical treatment” of minor “booboos” is to find some natural remedies versus peroxide and neosporin.  One thing at a time!

Retirement From Overstocked Bathroom Products!

Ok, so here is the situation.  There is this awesome frugal shopping technique out there now a days called CVSing, Walgreens RR, and Rebates at Rite Aid.  Basically what it is is matching coupons with sales and rebates or rewards.  Its an awesome way to save a lot of money.  But its also a not so awesome way to spend money on things you do not necessarily need at the moment.  Than again stockpiling items that are next to nothing or free is never bad.  Which brings me to my point-how many panty liners can one woman use?  My goodness!

So tonight as I was running to my local drugstores to get my free or sickly reduced items after a very long day, I decided its not worth it at the moment.  I am going to take a vacation and just buy things I need at the time.  Don’t get me wrong I will still match up my coupons with the sales, I just do not need to be stockpiling panty liners and razors at the moment.  I have two small children, a wonderful husband, an awesome path to a healthy lifestyle, total payment of debt in high gear, and a happy life that is busy.  This needs to go for a while.

I don’t know if I can quit cold turkey, but I am going to reduce it by at least 95%.  I can never resist a diaper deal!  So as the tag goes on the name of my blog, its the simple things in life.  So its time to simplify my time!  (Anyone need toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, razors, make up sponges, dishwasher soap, band aids, blah blah blah….) 🙂

For those of you intrigued about how to do this kind of shopping all you have to do is google it.  Catch you on the flip side.

Wellness Wednesday- Vegetable Soup for the……..Butt?

Its no secret I am on a mission to a healthy lifestyle, mentality, and physique.   I have been eating pretty good, with the occasional splurge ( I have a severe weakness for fried food).  But here is one of my deepest darkest secrets- I HATE ALL VEGETABLES!  Yes I said it.  What kind of a mom and woman am I?  I do not like any of them.  Do I eat them?  Absolutely!  But I have found a recipe for Garden Vegetable Soup that is phenomenal.  You get tons and tons of veggies and if you are doing Weight Watchers it is zero points and on the Core Plan.  The recipe is as follows:

2/3 c sliced carrot

1/2 c diced onion

2 garlic cloves, minced

3 c fat free broth (beef, chicken, or veggie-I use veggie)

1 1/2 c diced green cabbage

1/2 c green beans

1 TBSP tomato paste

1/2 tsp dried basil

1/4 tsp dried oregano

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 c diced zucchini

Spray a large saucepan with nonstick cooking spray or olive oil and heat.  Saute’ the carrot, onion, and garlic over low heat until softened, about 5 minutes.  Add broth, cabbage, beans, tomato paste, basil, oregano, and salt; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; simmer, covered, about 15 minutes or until beans are tender.  Stir in zucchini and heat for 3-4 minutes.  Serve hot.

So easy!  It tastes super great and I don’t know why, but it does.  Why question a good thing?  You can eat plain, over brown rice, or over whole wheat pasta.  I eat it most days for lunch and its super filling.  I get a little boost of energy when I am done and not the sleepies after lunch.  You can only imagine the health benefits from this meal versus a burger and fries.  Read here and here for more information on benefits of veggies.  I just dare you to have an entire lunch of veggie :).

Wellness Wednesday-Massage

For today’s tip you can not be one of those people that does not like other’s in your personal space.  Massage is all about personal space.  But the benefits are ridiculous.  If you have never had a professional massage, you are really missing out.

This past Saturday, for the first time, I had a 90 minute massage ( I usually partake in a 60 minute massage)!  Can I say, “HOLY COW!”?  To put it lightly.  Sixty minutes will no longer be good enough.  There are mental benefits and physical benefits that come from massage.

Some people go to a massage and fall asleep, not me.  I want to enjoy every second of it and try to remember it, and hang on to that feeling.  Its a weird place I find myself in, kind of a zen-like feeling.  Maybe its spiritual, maybe its dreamy, I have no idea, but if I could achieve that feeling and bottle it up-I would be a millionaire.  Sometimes its hard not to fall asleep, but I just never do.  Mentally, its an hour to relax and have somebody pamper you like a queen or king.  Who doesn’t want that?  That is worth the money spent all by itself.

Physically there are so many benefits to massage.  Personally, for the last few years I have been seeking out a more natural medical lifestyle to follow.  Don’t get me wrong, when I have a super bad headache I am not against poppin’ in an 800.  But I do look up alternative ways in medicating myself and my family.  Massage is proven to be great for circulation, taking care of our skin (our biggest organ), fixing tense muscles, and so much more.  You can read more about the benefits here.

With my much improved exercise schedule, I am making it a priority to try and get a massage once a month.  If I could, I would have one once a week.  But with the great pleasures of massage, comes a price.  A good massage is a little pricey.  But if you take the money you might spend on fast food, or a new item of clothing, or a movie-you can get a massage.  Numerous places run specials all the time.  If you are a great bargain hunter, you can find some really great deals.  Two of my favorite places to have massages in Grand Rapids are Panopoulis on Burton & Breton and Vasio Life Spa.  Each place is a very different experience, but both have the same results-a euphoric goodness.  So find it in your schedule and budget to treat yourself-life is short live in the now!

Ratted Out By An Angel

I woke up this morning knowing I had to attend a memorial service for my Aunt.  More of a celebration of her life actually.  She didn’t want anything formal, just a gathering of friends and family and their memories.  Today was a beautiful day.  Sun shining, puffy white clouds in the sky, Sunday paper (I always look forward to that, more on that later though), and my family.

My son is teething, so my daughter and I decided to go to church ourselves and have a mommy/daughter morning.  This would also include pancakes at IHOP (not necessarily on the diet).  We haven’t been to church in the summer in a while so I assumed it started at 9:30, only to arrive at church with it half way done.  We walked in just in time for Children’s Time.  We quietly found a seat by the band and she proceeded up to the front to listen to the Pastor.  After his message, she proceeded to raise her hand and tell the entire church that her mommy was late for church.  Needless, to say it made the entire church giggle.  She came back to her seat and asked, “What was so funny?  I was telling him the truth.”  I told her that people thought it was silly and that seemed to be good enough (thank goodness).  During the song after communion she also turned to me with some more important information, ” Mommy, I decided that instead of a donut maker I would like to be  singer like that lady in the band when I grow up.”  Do their minds ever stop?  We than proceeded with the rest of church and our date at IHOP.  It was all fabulous!

We decided to bring our children to the memorial service and attend as a family.  Children lighten the atmosphere a bit and they were important to my Aunt Jerri as well.  I am so glad that we brought them.  The little one just kind of stayed in my husband’s arms, but my daughter-well my daughter was a true angel.  The memorial started off with a song that was requested by my Aunt to be played.  The song was by Celine Dion, “Because You Loved Me”.  Take a listen  and imagine the emotion ( Because You Loved Me).  I hid my tears (very poorly) behind my sunglasses.  My daughter noticed and came and sat on my lap.  She whispered in my ear, “Wipe those tears Mama.  Aunt Jerri is in a good place.”.  I truly think she is on Earth to serve.  She than proceeded to go around the tent and give hugs to people that were crying.  Bless her heart.

Then there was a part of the memorial that people got to share their memories and thoughts.  I was asked to read my blog posts, so I did.  You can imagine how difficult that was, especially following that song.   But I will tell you it felt good.  I am glad that two very important people asked me to do this, because I do not think I would have had the courage to do so had they not asked.  I felt a release that was freeing.

Once again, it goes to show how the power of the pen (keyboard) and the innocence of youth can set you free.  I wish you all a very blessed week while we try to get back to a little normalcy if that is even possible.

Final Peace to a Wonderful Woman

Today my Aunt, Jerri McKellar, left this Earth for a better place.  I wrote about her before on this post.  But today is the day that numerous different emotions, feelings, and thoughts have occurred to me for the very first time.

Sadness is such an overwhelming emotion.  True to the core sadness.  Than throw in external factors to make that sadness dig deeper.  Your mothering concerned about her sister’s last breath, a family a little bit out of sorts on how to deal, coming to terms with the stages in my life, and the innocence of youth.

I have nothing but great love and admiration for my mother, for she is one of the greatest woman on this planet Earth!  She has the biggest heart, is intelligent, is extremely loyal, beautiful, funny, honest (if you only know how honest 🙂 ), and lost her first sibling today.  But what I admire most about my mom, is her focus.  She is remembering the good and her own personal relationship with my Aunt.  I love her for that so much.

With any great family comes a little bit of drama.  Now my family could probably create their own television show and entertain the world, but I think we will just keep that to ourselves.  What I do know and what I have learned is the following:

-There are two sides to every story

-Emotion makes people do and say things they do not mean

-It takes a bigger person to forgive.

And we will leave the family drama at that.

With today’s events I have come to terms with the fact that every day is so very precious.  Its that time in my life to start really cherishing my days with family.  I am in my mid-thirties and I am just coming to terms that some day I will lose the people that I love most in this world-and that sucks!  We will all lose those people.  We have got to have faith.  We have got to do good.  We have got to remember the good.  We have to honor those people that are not physically present anymore.  Its a lot to take in on a Thursday, but its so very real.

Finally, realizing the beauty of innocence.  My 4 1/2 year old daughter said a prayer tonight that blew my mind.  She went through her usual thanking God routine, you know, beautiful mom, family, Earth and than stated the following, “God, I am so glad that you get to meet my Aunt Jerri now.  She is wonderful.  Talk to her a lot because I will miss her.  I know she can hear me, but can’t talk back.  So tell her I love her and thank you God for making her well again.”.  My goodness!  I have no words to describe the emotion I felt at that moment, but my daughter gave me something tonight that nobody else could-CLARITY.  Is it that simple?  Really?  Who knows, but she made me feel so full of love at that moment I do not know how I can ever thank her.

In closing, I love you Aunt Jerri.  Everything about you, even the things that drove me crazy.  You are truly one of a kind and woman that people should look up too.  Your bravery and determination can not be matched.  It is an honor to have been loved by you and to know you.   It is an honor to have laughed so much with you and know that you are truly one of a kind.  Your memory will be kept alive by the people you touched and made laugh.  On a lighter note, if I could, I would open a Bingo Hall and call it Jerri’s House O’ Chips!  The menu would be Diet Coke, cottage cheese, half eaten chocolate candies, all salty chip foods, and a good cookie.  Catch you on the better side some day!