Double skinny latte please...

This morning I have been trying to learn how to use my espresso machine I got for Christmas. The instructions that came with it have pictures with no words, but after reading further, I found written instructions too. I'm sure I will love it when I get it figured out! Thanks, honey. It's a wonderful gift.

De'Longhi Pump Espresso machine - via their website

I'm loving having the day off. In fact, I'm off work until Jan 4th! I'm spending time with family today. My mom is coming over later to watch the Music City Bowl with me. Go Vols!

My mom just found out that she has Type 2 Diabetes, so I am planning on making some snacks that she can have without raising her blood sugar. I'm off to research diabetic recipes! If you have recommendations, please comment!


Goals for 2011

As 2010 nears to a close, I have been thinking about the goals I wish to accomplish for the next year. I have a feeling its going to be a great year!

Here goes:
  • I will finish a 5k by running more than walking. In 2010, I participated in several 5k's but walked most of them. I want to pump up the intensity. I am choosing the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure as the race to complete this goal. This takes place in October in Nashville so I have no excuses!
  • I will get my sugar addiction under control. *this will be a challenge, since I am a sweetaholic.
  • I will start going to church on a regular basis, even if I am the only member in my family that goes.
  • I will continue on my healthy eating plan in hopes to lose a few pounds and maintain my healthy      cholesterol levels. Losing weight is not as important to me as being healthy. This probably comes from the fact that I've tried to lose weight over the past year or so with not much luck. My weight has stayed the same, but I feel better and my clothes fit better. I still weigh myself once a week, but I'm thinking of scaling back on that also. If its causing me frustration, why fool with it?
  • I will strive to spend less money and save more. My frugal husband will be glad to hear that. ;)

What are YOUR goals for 2011?

I really dislike this picture of me, but its a reminder of how much harder I need to work at improving on my running.


What are you eating today?

I didn't have time to eat lunch today. But I had a good breakfast of oatmeal with blueberries. And an organic granola bar for a snack. I also had an orange and some apple slices. Fresh fruit is good! Now it's after 4:00 and I'm hungry. So I made a frozen pizza - spinach and mushroom. Its pretty good for one of those low calorie meals. I have also increased my water consumption today. I feel so much better when I eat healthier!

I also had a cup of yogurt today and one square of my dark chocolate! If someone told me I couldn't have chocolate, I don't think I could make it. :) But remember ...moderation!

Back to work

I came back to work yesterday after a 10 day vacation. It sure is hard getting back into the swing of things! At least this is a short week for me since we get New Year's Eve off and Thursday will be my regular day off this week.  Do you have plans for New Years?

We had a party last year, but I think we will scale down this year and just have a few friends over to play video games on our PS3. Our favorites are Rock Band, Sing Star, and our Move sports champions game. I love that you can dance to the sing star with the PS3 Move. Its a good workout too!

I realized that I consumed too much sugar last weekend, so I began a detox yesterday. I'm drinking lots of water and only eating fresh fruits and vegetables for a few days. It is hard for me to detour the goodies left on my table from the holidays, so I made a goodie tray and brought to work with me yesterday to share.

I've been thinking a lot about the goals I want to make for 2011. I'll make a list for my next post. I expect great things in 2011!


Mexican Wedding Cookies recipe

I made these cookies for Christmas. They were a big hit at the family gathering!

Mexican Wedding Cookies recipe

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone!

It's a white Christmas in Tennessee. Kind of. Actually it looks like just a dusting of snow. But its the first white Christmas since 1993, so that is kind of cool. Here is a picture taken from my front door.

I got up and made my traditional cinnamon rolls and coffee before opening our gifts.

I got some new coffee mugs from my mom last night. They are really nice! They are glass mugs tinted blue.

Here are a few gifts I received:

My daughter, Jan'a got me these wine glasses but informed me if I didn't like them, she would take them back. Sorry! I love them!

My sister gave me these candleholders. Love them!

John gave me an espresso maker! Nice! Now I just have to learn how to use it.

PS3 game for me!

Another PS3 game and the PS3 Move! Alright!

Here is a great gift I got from my sister in law.
Timex training watch. I love it! Its so much more feminine than my current training watch.

Here is the note my sister in law included with my gift. She says I inspire her! What a sweet thing to say!
Now the family is having fun playing their video games while I "play" on the computer. We are planning on being lazy today and play with our toys and maybe go have chinese food later today....(remember the ending of the movie The Christmas Story...)

Here is a gift my husband seems pretty proud of...

Here is the best Christmas present of all....

I hope you have a Merry Christmas!


Christmas Eve!

Christmas is in the air! The presents have been bought and wrapped. Goodies have been made. And tonight is our family Christmas party! We get together with my parents and my sister and her family to exchange gifts and share a meal. The meal will not consist of much healthy food, unless I provide it. So, my plan today is to a) exercise this morning, b) eat healthy at home before going to the party, and c) remember to eat smaller portions at the party and to choose 1 or 2 desserts instead of sampling them all. Wish me luck!

Here are some pictures of my home with my Christmas decorations:

My Christmas card collection

Our Christmas tree
My daughter and I baked goodies last night. We made several different kinds of cookies, fudge, chess squares and chocolate nut clusters.

chess squares!

lots of sugar cookes to decorate

Its going to be hard sticking to my healthy eating the next few days! You see, I have a sweet tooth and it is very hard for me to resist all the goodies! Yesterday I did a Taebo workout. No one can work me out like Billy can. I feel so powerful after punching and kicking. So what will it be today....treadmill, 5k training, and exercise bike? That sounds good to me!

Happy Holidays to you! I hope you weren't on the naughty list!


How to Prevent Holiday Weight Gain: Relax and Enjoy the Festivities

Here's a good article I found. Is it a struggle for you too? I have a hard time with all the sweets! And since I live in the south, there aren't many healthy options with my family dinners!

How to Prevent Holiday Weight Gain: Relax and Enjoy the Festivities


Fun with my girls

I took my daughters out for a shopping day. We began with breakfast from IHOP. I opted for one of the healthy breakfast choices even though I am sure something else would have tasted better. It wasn't bad for around 400 calories. As you see from the picture below, Jan'a did not choose a healthy breakfast!

After breakfast, we headed to the mall for shopping. I managed to get a few Christmas gifts, in addition to some things for my kids. Whitney needed a new coat and I think she loves it!

We had fun in the mall. We even had our pictures made in one of those booths!

I was exhausted after all the shopping we did. So when I got home I decided to relax a little while before hitting the exercise room! It's been a good day! I love spending time with my girls!


Family Fun

Tonight my sister, my youngest daughter, Whitney and I took my mom out for a night of fun. This is a tradition we started a few years ago. My sister and I like to take my mom out on at least one fun activity around Christmas. She enjoys it very much. We went to the Opryland Hotel in Nashville to see the Christmas lights. It was a sight to see!

They also have a full size nativity scene by their main entrance with a narrator.
We also took a river boat ride inside the hotel. It was a lot of fun and we got our picture made.

There was also a magnificent water fountain show with lights and set to music. It was just beautiful.

After leaving the hotel, we went out to eat dinner at Longhorn for steaks. Yummy! I also had a peach sangria. For dinner, I ordered a filet stuffed with crab and spinach with a baked sweet potato and a salad. It was wonderful! But I will have a date with the treadmill in the morning.

More family plans tomorrow. I am spending the day with my beautiful daughters. Girls day out!  I love being on vacation! (have I said that already?)

Spending time with family...Priceless!

Our family had a holiday party last night at my cousin's house and it was a blast! My mom was a little shocked that I didn't bring a "healthy" dish though. She thinks I'm too obsessive over the healthy eating stuff. I made some fudge and added some store bought cookies and cupcakes to my platter. I worked out on the treadmill before the party hoping this would prevent me from overindulging in the sweets. There were a lot of sweets to choose from but also more savory items also. My favorite was the tortilla soup. That has got to be my favorite soup in the world! Yummy! I also had a few glasses of chardonnay. mmmmm! I am hoping pictures will be shared soon since I didn't take any pictures myself.

Today will be a busy day as well. Today is the day my sister and I will take our mother out for a day of fun! I will take pictures today.

I'm definitely enjoying my vacation. I love spending time with my family.


Holiday planning

My sister and I are thinking about taking our mother out for a night of fun! We usually do this every year. Last year we went on a Christmas cruise on the General Jackson showboat in Nashville. Here's our picture:

General Jackson 2009
mom, Whitney, me, Sherry (sister)
This year we are thinking about taking her to see A Country Christmas at Gaylord Opryland Hotel. There is a Radio City Rockettes concert available and a show called "ICE" that looks like fun. They also have spectacular Christmas lights and that part is free to the public. If its free, its me! I'm having fun planning our night out. We will probably go out to dinner also. The hotel has several dining options to choose from but I doubt they offer any coupons. And from what I can tell from their website, they are a little pricey. But this is a one time of the year thing, so I'll try and not worry so much about the cost.

Today is my last day of work until my vacation starts! I am so excited! Happy Holidays!!


Vacation time

Well, I decided to take some time off work before Christmas. I have vacation time but usually feel like I can't take it because of my hectic work schedule. I'm giving in....I need a break and what better time of the year to take off and spend with my family, than Christmas? I'm looking forward to it. When I get off work Thursday, Dec 16th, I will be off work until Dec 27th. What will I do? I plan on spending some quality time with my teenage daughters. That will probably include eating out and shopping and who knows...maybe a mani or pedi. My high school age daughter, will be out of school also so we can have lots of fun together!

I also want to spend some quality time with my supportive husband, John. Our work schedules do not allow us to spend alot of time together except on the weekends. I look forward to playing Rock Band on our PS3! That's one of our favorite things to do. I haven't broken the news to him yet about my vacation, but hopefully he wont mind. ;)

I will also make some time for working out and setting my goals for 2011. I would also like to do some decorating and organizing to my exercise room. And getting to finish my Christmas shopping early will be great! I usually take vacation days when we are traveling, but it sounds very delightful to take off work and just stay at home.

This is a much needed break for me. Vacation....here I come!

Tonight, I am looking forward to  The Biggest Loser finale show! This has been a great season of the show. I love watching the final episode and seeing the transformations of all the contestants. In my eyes, all of them are winners! They have all accomplished so much. The marathan episode always makes me wonder....can I do it too? Did you vote for Ada or Elizabeth to be the 3rd final contestant? Good luck to all the contestants! I also wonder who will show up from past seasons?


2011 Goals

I was not able to participate in the Frosty Fun Run yesterday since I woke up with a migrane. I don't get them very often, but when I do....all I can do is sleep in my dark room with no noise. I felt really bad about missing this race all day but I honestly didn't think I could physically do it with a migrane. I don't like the way I feel when I let myself down. Now...it's time to brush it off and get back on track. "After all, tomorrow is another day." - Scarlett O'Hara

This week I was beginning to get frustrated about running and that my progress wasn't as much as I had hoped for. But I received a card in the mail from a friend that runs marathons and gives me much encouragement. His card really made my day and motivated me to keep going. I worked out that night on my Couch to 5K running plan and felt good about it. I am on week 2 of the plan and even though my progress is slow, I'm noticing that I feel stronger and believe I can do it. It's amazing how powerful words of motivation and encouragement can be!

I haven't signed up for any events in 2011 yet, but that is next on my list. Setting goals for 2011: run a 5k and maybe a 10k. I'd like to run the Bloomsday run (12k) in Spokane, WA in May since I have family there. It would be a good excuse to visit. But it's a long way and airline tickets are usually pretty expensive.  I'll keep that option open though and see if I can talk my husband into it. ;) I also would like to participate in the Komen 3-Day Race for the Cure. I have done the Race for the Cure (5k) two years in a row but the 3-day event is not held in my area.  I see there is a race in San Diego....I've always wanted to go there.

Nashville Race for the cure - Oct 2010
 I am keeping my eyes open for events I'm interested in and make something happen! I expect 2011 to be the best year ever!


Next On The Biggest Loser

Next On The Biggest Loser

I'm looking forward to watching The Biggest Loser tonight! Only four contestants are left and tonight we will find out who will go on to the finale! I'm rooting for Ada! This show is such a huge motivator for me. I see people come on the show that lose hundreds of pounds, it makes me feel like I can do it too! I will have my kleenex box ready, I'm sure it will be an emotional episode.


Please explain to me....why even though I eat healthy (90% of the time) and exercise regularly, my weight on the scale will not change!!! My clothes fit better and I feel like I am toning and becoming stronger, BUT it is so frustrating go get on the scale and ...NOTHING. I do feel better physically with more energy but I really wish I could drop a few pounds....well maybe more than a few. I'm sure the perimenopause has something to do with it, causing my metabolism to become almost nonexistent....but there has to be something more I can do. It is frustrating working so hard at living a healthy lifestyle with minimal results. Getting old really blows.


Winter weather in Tennessee

It's nice to get winter weather finally, after all it is December. But I am not looking forward to running on Saturday in the Frosty Fun Run....if its going to be freezing. I need advice for running in the cold. Since I'm a beginner and I am accustomed to warm weather in the south, I am not sure what to do. My training to run a 5k is coming along. I am in the 2nd week of the Couch to 5k running plan now. The last time I ran was on Saturday and I admit that it was hard for me. My ankle started swelling and I wasn't sure if I could finish the workout. But I made it. I sprained my right ankle last year and I still have lots of problems with it. But I'm not giving up!

I am also happy to report that my husband has started running again. Moving the exercise equipment into our spare bedroom was a great idea!!

Thought for the day:

"Many of life's failures are people who
did not realize how close they were
to success when they gave up."
- Thomas Edison