Category Archives: Exercise

“I’m here to PUMP you UP!”

Day 96: Somewhere you went today

I am pretty good about sticking to my workout routine but have to admit that it is very hard to get back in the groove of things after a free-for-all week on vacation. So I made it to the gym again today, might not have been the prettiest thing but hey, at least I made it. Plus I have to remember that some day (hopefully in the near future) it will be warm enough to put on my swimsuit here in Minnesota. My dad always joked that summer swim season in Minnesota was on July 4th from 2-4pm–let’s pray this is inaccurate this summer. BRING ON THE SUN!!

trying early morning workout tomorrow... wish me luck


Itsy bitsy tini wini…

Day 82: Something embarrassing in your closet

First and foremost, I am not easily embarrassed. That being said…

With swimsuit season just around the corner every girl needs a little inspiration. So around this time I usually pin a picture in my closet or on the fridge for a little inspiration. This the photo this go ’round. While it might be “embarrassing” it does prove to be effective!

"get to the gym"

“Have you ever been on a real shrimp boat?” “No, but I been on a real BIG boat”

The first time…. I made Sausage and Seafood Gumbo

A few years back, perhaps many years back, my mom gifted me a Better Homes and Garden cookbook. This was a long standing tradition as my grandmother cooked many things from this “cooking bible” as did my mom. While I was extremely excited when I received it, I must admit that I didn’t use it all that often; college years didn’t lend to skimming through cookbooks much less reading, required or otherwise.

Needless to say it was a huge surprise when recently my mom gave me a Sausage and Seafood Gumbo recipe… that was from the cookbook. I was blown away by how delicious it sounded and thought “how could I have missed this…!?” Oh yeah, college. Anyway, this past weekend I thought I would give it the good old college try 🙂

I started with two medium-sized bowls for ingredients. In one I sliced about a pound of andouille sausage and added about 2 cups of seafood (Paella  mix from Costco). In the other I added 2 cups sliced okra, 1 cup chopped white onion, 1/2 cup of chopped celery, 1/2 cup of chopped green pepper, and 4 cloves minced garlic.

I set the bowls aside and started my roux– noun-for a cooked mixture of flour and used to thicken soups, stews and sauces. I heated a small pot to high and added both flour and oil


Just a note: make sure to have a wooden spoon handy and stir constantly, otherwise your roux will burn. Slowly but surely the oil and flour will become smooth

just keep stirring, stirring, stirring...

Once smooth I reduced heat to medium and stirred constantly until the roux turned an auburn color. Then I set it aside to cool

smells kind funky

In the meantime, I poured 3 1/2 cups of water into a large stock pot and turn the heat to low. Then stirrred in the roux and added the meat mixture to the pot

I ended up halving the sausage slices mid way through

Next I added the vegetable mix as well as 1/2 teaspoon of salt and pepper as well as 1/4 teaspoon of ground red pepper


I covered and cooked on low heat for 6 to 7 hours (Shortcut: cook on high for 3 to 3 1/2 hours) and WAH LA!


The recipe suggested to serve the gumbo over three cups of hot cooked rice but instead I opted to serve with warm krusty french bread– can’t go wrong! Hungry yet?

Day 63: Sports award

Unfortunately for you but fortunately for me I don’t have any pictures of myself playing sports nor of my sports awards. I looked a little something like this…

(stock photo-- not actually me)

Yea, that’s right, hardass!I was a black belt in Tae Kwon Do; started in 4th grade and practiced up through my junior year of high school. It was great exercise and an awesome way to learn discipline and gain confidence!

Sprints and Smiles

Day 53: A picture of something you recently bought

With this new running adventure I realized that I was in dire need of some new shoes. I have been on the hunt for a few weeks now as I am very particular about running shoes. I hate white tennies as I found it makes me feel like I am wearing UFOs on my feet. When I spotted these I knew the hunt was worth it; can’t wait to break them in tomorrow!

run run run

Day 52: A picture of yourself celebrating making it this far (in the challenge)

All smiles

Run Like the Wind

The first time… I felt like a runner

My entire life I have never felt like I was a long distance runner. I wasn’t good at it, so I figured I just couldn’t do it. This has long bothered me especially having lived in two of the most active cities in the United States; everyone runs! I am an active person, regularly go to the gym and yoga. I could go hours on an elliptical but running, not for me. This became extremely frustrating to me recently, as everyone in my family can, has or does run, and does it well.

So the past three weeks I have made a concerted effort to try to “become a runner”. I started only being able to run a mile maybe a little more, and by no means was I fast. Each visit to the gym I have been pushing myself a little more each day. I did everything I could not to look at the time or the distance–covered in magazines of fit women or my drenched sweat towel  I ran on.

Today, was the first time when I jumped on the treadmill with ease, and ran until I could run no longer. I pulled out my headphones, slowed the treadmill to light jog then a walk and finally to stop. I didn’t move my magazines but proceeded to wipe down the treadmill. Much to my surprise when I moved my magazines from the display  I saw that I had run 3.15 MILES!!!!! After only three weeks of hard work, determination, and focus I have greatly improved from my starting point. In no way am I done with my running journey, it has only just begun. But what an incredible reminder that with just a little extra effort and focus I can do anything I put my  mind to!


Day 33: A photo of something you made

My good friend Christine invited us over her boyfriend’s house for dinner, and some March Madness fun. Never one to show up empty handed I grabbed a 12 pack of beer, and a bottle of wine but wanted to make a yummy treat. With a limited amount of time I went to the cupboard for a trusty old church cookbook. I found the recipe for Quick Little Devils and went to baking. While they took a little longer than expected– I must say they were delicious!

Only a few left

yummy layers


Slow down…

My first… time I have realized that I need to slow down (a little)

Since Labor Day, I have been going NON-STOP! Whether it is hosting guests, traveling home, happy hour, or simply day to day life, I feel like I haven’t been able to take a deep breath. On Friday we devoted an evening to simply “us”. We decided to take it easy, have some drinks and make this the most relaxing weekend in the past few months.

Saturday morning I eased into my day by heading to the gym. I parked my car, threw my gym bag over my shoulder and strolled toward the front door. Halfway to the door I saw a leaf that looked just like a heart, didn’t think anything of it and continued on my way. In that moment realized that that while this was to be a relaxing weekend, things also need to slow down. I need to slow down. I walked back to that leaf and snapped a quick photo. I mean how often do you see a leaf that looks just like a heart?!?

We walk past little miracles, anomalies, and phenomenons on a daily basis and this weekend has been a reminder that I need to take some time to marvel at the beauty around me–even if it is a fallen leaf come to rest on the pavement.

Beauty in the least expected place