Living in a sports bra

Every day last week I made my fitness and my healthy eating habits a priority. It also means I’ve been wearing a lot of different workout clothes and almost living in my sports bras and sneakers. They aren’t the most flattering styles I have, but they do the job for my 21 days of jumping and running around. It works.

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I haven’t seen a change (it’s been, but I feel a change. It’s not the easiest thing I’ve ever done (in fact it might be one of the harder things I’ve tried), but I’m TRYING.

 

One of my biggest changes is that I’m concentrating on portion sizes while I work with nutrition. I’m using a specific set of containers to help me measure, and I’m pleased with the heaps of vegetables I’ve been cramming into my body (so. much. spinach.) and thrilled that raspberries have become a staple as my snacks. I’ve been avoiding the ice cream, cookies, and JUNK that Coop brought home almost completely, which is a huge victory for this sweet toothed lady.

I still drink too much coffee (though my water intake is now HIGHER than my coffee intake) and I’m modifying my workouts as I need to; but I’m TRYING.

I want my body to look different … so I have to do something different to my body. Little steps will add up to a long marathon, and eventually I will see the difference.

What are you doing this May to help your body be the best that it can be?

The Glass Castle

The first time I read The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls I was in a very different place of my life. It was hard to read, I sobbed uncontrollably at points, and I blocked out a lot of the memories she managed to drag up. This book is not for the faint of heart; it’s heart-wrenching at points. I read it recently again in hopes of absorbing more of the stories … and I am thrilled to say that The Glass Castle is a book I highly recommend.

Amazon’s blurb about this book hits the nail on the head when it comes to describing The Glass Castle.

“Jeannette Walls grew up with parents whose ideals and stubborn nonconformity were both their curse and their salvation.”

Jeannette Walls writes openly and honestly about her not-so-typical upbringing. With an alcoholic father who regularly disappeared with the grocery money and an artistic mom who would rather paint than cook a meal for her four children, Walls has harrowing, heartbreaking, and love-filled tales from her Nomadic childhood.  Walls’ success as a writer absolutely began with her dysfunctional family and Wall is able to turn her trials and tribulations as a kid into almost-entertaining stories we can read.

Shortly after reading The Glass Castle, by Jeanette Walls, I read her second book, Half Broke Horses and understood even more deeply the Walls’ family legacy has influenced this writer.

“Half Broke Horses is Laura Ingalls Wilder for adults, as riveting and dramatic as Isak Dinesen’s Out of Africa or Beryl Markham’s West with the Night. Destined to become a classic, it will transfix readers everywhere.”

I absolutely recommend you check out both of these Jeanette Walls books. If you thought your childhood was mercurial and always shifting, you will find a friend in these tales.

A BzzAgent Review: Gillette® Venus® Silk by Braun

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I received a free Gillette® Venus® Silk Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) hair removal system, powered by Braun from BzzAgent in exchange for an honest review of the product. The thoughts and opinions shared are mine.

I was excited to try the Gillette® Venus® Silk Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) hair removal system, and was quite surprised when a huge box showed up at my house.

Again, with the BOXES, brands.

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This Gillette® IPL came in a mess of boxes. I snapped photographs of all the cardboard, plastic, and wires. SO MUCH to recycle.

I understand the fact that the $400 product is fragile and could break when shipping, but there was so much cardboard involved in getting the IPL from the box. (Yes, you read that right, this IPL system will run you about $400 if you buy it retail.)

I am easily irritated by packaging, and as a first impression, there was too much packaging for this product.

I read the entire packet of information before I even plugged in the IPL system. I was slightly intimidated by the idea that it might hurt, so once I took it out and set it aside, it took me a couple of weeks to brave its use.

The Gillette® Venus® Silk Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) hair removal system arrives with the a hair removal device (the wand), a brand new Gillette® Venus® razor handle and blade, and a power supply. The device is not battery operated, and must be used while plugged in. Thankfully the power supply cord is long enough to do your procedures privately and safely.

You are required to have hair-free surfaces before you apply the light to your skin, so I used the new razor handle and blade to smooth my stems first. (One of the biggest pluses for me in this box was the new Gillette® Venus® handle; previously I had owned the same handle for at least a half-dozen years.)

Screen Shot 2016-05-09 at 11.54.32 AM.pngI finally braved the light system.

It didn’t hurt! That’s what I was honestly most worried about. (As a kid I tried an Epilady and I thought I was going to die from the pain!) You do feel a little poke/prick when the light flashes on your skin, but it was less than even an acupuncture needle; completely tolerable.

I used the Braun Silk-expert IPL system two weeks ago and have not noticed a decrease in my hair growth, but do plan to use the device three or four more times in the upcoming three or four weeks.

According to the Gillette® Venus® Silk Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) hair removal system website:

“Braun Silk-expert is an IPL system which results in permanent visible hair removal in as little as four treatments. It works beneath the skin’s surface by targeting the melanin in the hair follicle, helping to break the cycle of hair re-growth. With continued, regular use, it helps prevent unwanted hair from reaching the skin surface.”

I wish that the results were immediate when IPL us used, but unfortunately, it takes some time to see actual results. The “continued, regular use” is hard to review early on in the process. Since it doesn’t actually hurt, and you can treat an entire leg in eight minutes, this system may save a woman time if the light is strong enough for your stem hair.

PROS of the Gillette® Venus® Silk Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) hair removal system:

  • comes with a new razor handle
  • comes with a new razor blade
  • long power supply cord for ease of use
  • doesn’t hurt
  • flashes pretty

CONS:

  • takes weeks for results to show
  • $400 is expensive for leg hair removal (though when you compare it to regular waxing costs, it probably does save money)
  • too much packaging

Give me a couple more weeks and I’ll be able to give an even more thorough review about how my legs are looking!

Wodensday

Screen Shot 2016-05-09 at 12.29.26 PMHappy Wodensday!

Happy Mittwoch!

Happy Hump Day!

Happy Wednesday!

For decades now, Wednesday has been one of my favorite days (immediately following Saturday) because once you survive Wednesday, you’ve made it through half of a work week and you might actually make it to Friday!

The name of this day, Wednesday, comes from the Middle English Wednesdei. The Germanic god Woden (Wodanza or Odin depending on where in the world you might be) graces us with his presence in this name. The Latin name of Wednesday is directly related to the Romance languages andin the tenth century, German invaded the days of the week. We moved from “Wodenstag” (Wodan’s day) to “Mittwoch” which literally translates to “mid-week”… might be more appropriate for the German’s naming conventions. (It seems to me that Germans are pretty utilitarian when they create new words.)

Culturally, Wednesday holds significance in Hindu mythology, Thai solar calendars, and many folk rhymes. The fictional DC terror Solomon Grundy was “married on Wednesday,” Winnie the Pooh renames the day to “Winds-Day” in Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day, and Wednesday Friday Addams is a perfect “child of woe” born on a Wednesday.

Wednesday means I’m almost to Saturday.

What does Wednesday mean to you?

 

What’s for dinner?

In my house, no one ever asks me “What’s for dinner?” which I think is a testament to the fact that dinner is regularly a hit in my house; my family eats well. I always plan dinner, so that I can plan my grocery list to help me with that hated chore. Sometimes I keep a menu on the fridge so that mouths start watering soon into the week for our adventurous weekend dining.

Dinners for Three

  • Monday: oven-roasted chicken breasts with brown rice, broccoli, and tomatoes
  • Tuesday: beef steak with spiced barley and roasted Brussels sprouts
  • Wednesday: mesquite pork tenderloin, roasted sweet potatoes, broccoli, and tomatoes
  • Thursday: almond-crusted chicken breasts, lemon-herb quinoa, and cauliflower
  • Friday: pork tenderloin chops, brown rice, cauliflower, and tomatoes
  • Saturday: tilapia tacos (with all the vegetable fixins!)
  • Sunday: lean beef steak, quinoa, broccoli, cauliflower, and tomatoes

You can see that we are not pasta people. Well, strike that, let me rephrase it.

You can see from this menu that we don’t eat a lot of pasta. Mooster loves noodles, but the gluten in noodles is no good for my invisible inflammation issues. However, Mooster also loves rice of any and all kinds, so we eat a lot of brown and Basmati rice. I’ve been introducing my family to quinoa (which I have loved since the early 2000s) and Moo has dubbed it “bubble pasta,” but she loves it. Thankfully, I have a great eater on my hands.

The tilapia tacos this week are new to our routine, but since I love spicy fish tacos, I’m GOING to master making them on my own. I’m quite stoked to try it out. You interested in seeing the recipe?

What’s for dinner at your house?