Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Foster Kids School Supply Drive

I heard an ad this morning on the radio for Mattress Firm’s school supply drive for foster kids.  I was just driving along, halfway listening, when then they featured kids in the ad talking about their need for school supplies and I was heartbroken for them! 
 
One of the kids said “I feel bad asking for paper.”  Really?  Isn’t that heartbreaking?  A child that already thinks the world (or at least his parents) don’t love him enough to keep him, then he feels bad for asking for school supplies to further his education?  Can you imagine how he feels asking for soap or shoes or new clothes or Christmas presents?  OR ALL OF THOSE THINGS?  Can you imagine growing up in a group home and not having enough?  Not having self-esteem?  That is so sad!  We should be empowering these children to make their life better and get out of the cycle that led their parents to give them up.


Please join me in collecting school supplies for foster children!  You can drop them off at any Mattress Firm location in the area (I think it’s more than just Houston). 
 Or you can donate online if you don’t want to go out and buy them. 

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Not Feelin' It

I realized today that I just can't eat the same way as I used to.  Eating whole foods, plant based and cooking mainly from home for the past (almost!!!) 4 months has really messed with my eating habits....but in a good way.


The other day I went out to a Mexican food restaurant near my house and I left not feeling so hot.  I didn't realize it at the time why I wasn't feeling well but I realized today.

I went to a Chinese food buffet for dinner today and halfway through my plate I got a headache and my stomach started to ache!  I realized then that my diet has changed so much of the past few months that I cannot "indulge" in the same foods that I used to love.  I only ate vegetables and grains today (no meat) but I still felt icky.  All of the grease and salt (oh my!) had me feeling awful.

I like going out to eat and socializing, but I will have to suggest "better" places to eat in the future OR even better, suggest non food related activities.  We can meet at a park and go for a walk or watch a movie.  Watch out friends, no more food related activities for me (or at least fewer!).

Our nation has made food the center off our social activities and holidays.  Think about the major holidays in the USA, all of them are centered around food.  4th of July has BBQ,Christmas has ham themed dinner, Thanksgiving is all about the turkey, etc. etc. etc.  Maybe we can all suggest an activity before or after the meal to at least include a walk or run 'race'.  Or maybe set up an obstacle course at the local neighborhood park for everyone to participate in.

Anyway, this week I am going to stay my course and eat my favorite sandwich for breakfast.  I have a new favorite salad which includes:  arugula, tomatoes, onions, unsalted sunflower seeds, salt + pepper, and Tessamae's lemon and garlic dressing (best dressing ever).

I am going out of town to Dallas to visit Clarissa this weekend and see the Rangers take on the Kansas City Royals with other SFA Alumni.  I will be hard taking my food to Dallas with me, so I will have to see how that goes.  I might just buy some salad stuff when I get there except at the ball field, I heard they have vegan hot dogs which I'm kinda excited to try!  They aren't carrot hot dogs, but still.   I love carrot hot dogs!

Friday, July 22, 2016

TOPS Meeting


Last night I went to my first ever TOPS Club Meeting.  TOPS stands for “Taking Off the Pounds Sensibly” and it is for anyone who needs to lose weight and have positive support throughout the process.  The membership is $35 for the year on the national level and $1 per month for the chapter membership (varies per chapter)-or $47 for the entire year.  You get a bi-monthly magazine that is filled with tips on weight loss/healthy eating. They let me borrow a few old issue copies to take home and read!



I had heard of TOPS many moons ago but never looked it up to find one in my area.  There are several meetings in the Houston/Greater Houston area that anyone can go to but they are all of the USA and maybe world (Canada for sure).  Your first one or two meetings are free! My location is on the East side of Houston at 7 pm on Thursdays if anyone would like to join me. (go here to find one in your area)

I also loved it because I wasn't being sold anything, it was just a support meeting.  There are no shakes or meal plans to buy, just a friendly support and accountability group that doesn't cost an arm and a leg.  I have been looking for something like this for ages!!!  Granted, the people at my club are older or younger than me, but if I get the word out about who awesome it is, maybe people my age will sign up!!!!! There were a few teenagers there (with their parents) that are in the process of losing weight.  <------which awesome="" is="" span="">

At my location you weigh in (privately!) each week on their scale and if you lose or “turtle” (stay the same weight) your name goes in to a drawing for $$ or prizes.  You also get to put your name in a drawing for a big change jar of $$ for the end of the year. The people who gain weight that week have to put $$ in the jar ($.20 or above).  You decide beforehand how much you put in if you gain.  I guess it keeps it people accountable by having to pay $$ if they gain weight. They let you choose your amount so it will not be a burden to anyone who can’t afford to pay money in.  $.20 cents hopefully won’t break anyone but if it did then you do not have to pay it.

You also can earn pins to put on your name tag plus other fun awards and prizes.  I heard that there is an annual meeting/retreat where you can be the King or Queen of the entire TOPS organization!  Not exactly sure what that means but it would be super fun to be a Queen!! :)

They have positive affirmations at the start of the meeting, which I LOVED!!  I love affirmations.  Here it is: 



Someone spoke about “10 Tips for Healthier Eating” and then we were able to discuss it.  We said another affirmation before leaving for the day.  I was out of there by 7:45 PM. 

I loved it because there was no judgment and everyone had the same struggles.  When someone said they gained weight that week, people would say “that’s all right, you will do better next week” or something else similarly supportive and positive.    


Go to the TOPS Club website to look for a meeting in your area.  Your first 1 or 2 meetings are free!!!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

1st Day of Training

So, I started my training last night for my out of retirement 10K and it hurt!  I haven't been running at all for the past 3 years so to run last night hurt.  I went to Memorial Park and did the three mile loop.  I did a walk/run combo of running every two light posts and walking the 3rd, repeat. I have to get back into the swing of running and working my mileage back up.
Follow me on insta!

  I used to park close to the clubhouse area but now I park a bit down the road.  The weather had a nice breeze to it since it looks like it was about to rain, so it wasn't unbearably hot outside.  I stopped about a quarter of a mile in to stretch (should have stretched at my car) and did some leg swings stretches that I learned while marathon training.  I also did some calf raises to stretch out my foot.
I started back and my left hip area started to hurt so I did some more stretching.  I do not want any injuries this time around and I know that me being so heavy these days does not help when it comes to injuries.  

At about my 2.5 my left foot started to hurt SO BAD!  I was afraid of hurting it like I did the last time (which was partly the reason for retirement) but it was the left foot instead of the right food from last time.

I went ahead and finished the 3 miles by just walking.  I really didn't have a choice because I had to make it to my car!   I passed the time by making a new friend and talking about running/weight loss.

Last time I hardly ever stretched, I ate horribly, never did cross training, and I over did my training with too many miles. I don't know that I realized it at the time but over 3 years of retirement, you realize these things!  

I got home and used my tiger tail (available on Amazon) for all over my legs.  I even used it on my foot a little bit but that is a really weird angle!
I think I am going to wait until I buy some new running shoes before I train anymore.  I am using some old ones that don't have too much mileage on them, but still aren't helping my foot.  There is a kick-off party at On the Run in the Webster area next Thursday and I think I will go to that to buy some.  (I think I read somewhere that there will be a discount for anyone who goes...but I could be making that up! ha).  Plus there are door prizes and I love door prizes!

I think I will buy a set of tennis balls to roll my foot on after each race.  I might bring one to work too so I can roll my foot while sitting at my desk working.  I miss running (there, I said it) so I want this to work out.  I REALLY miss the weight loss that I had with it.  I mentioned on my birthday post that I am afraid to lose weight and then gain it all back again OR only being able to lose it by doing tons of miles while training for a marathon.  I think if I just eat correctly (almost 4 months!), be active, and have a positive attitude about weight loss, I can get to where I was and then some.  Look at how skinny I was!  I will get there again, but this time without hurting myself via mileage.  



Tuesday, July 19, 2016

What I've Been Up To Lately Vol 11.

I can't believe I haven't done one of these posts in awhile!  Wow. 
Found this awesome arrangement.
I went to the local Randall’s this morning (random) and found this rose bouquet in the floral case.  I love the leaves at the bottom.
Went to an event and they had these apple place settings.
I love the idea of using apples as place settings, but I don’t think they would be safe to eat, hence wasting a whole table full of perfectly yummy apples.   I’m torn.
Fell in love with a new salad dressing
This dressing is the BOMB!  (and I never use that phrase).  Tessemae’s has several flavors to choose from but I keep going back for this one.  I love how they use the wax to seal it!  I like lemon but sometimes it’s too powerful but this is not.  Just try it.  I got this at HEB in the refridgerated dressing seciton but I also saw it at Kroger.
Babysat an almost 3 year old on the 4th of July
My sister, Tori, had to work on the 4th until about 9 pm so I babysat Kali Claire.  I was planning on hanging out by the pool all day so she came with me.  When it got dark we went to the party where my parents were at and watched a $4,000 fireworks show.  Their friend has his own fireworks permit and the entire neighborhood has a block party to watch the show.  Must be nice to have that kind of $$.  We covered Kali’s ears so she wouldn’t be scared since they were so close to us.
The night before we hung out in the pool and watched them from a distance in other neighborhoods.  I saw a plane pass by and mentioned that it would be cool to see them from a plane.
Kali:  Mimi, can we please go on a plane and see fireworks.
My mom (Mimi):  Honey, I wish I had wings or a Superman cape to take you.
Kali:  (clasping her hands together in delight)  That’s a great idea, Mimi!!!
Worked out to Richard Simmons
I bought 3 new Richard Simmons DVD’s from Amazon.  I really like Richard Simmons.  If you read any of his articles, watch interviews, or just look at his social media you will see what a genuine person he seems to be.  I love that his mission in life was to help people and that he found a way to do it on a large scale for maximum impact.  What an awesome legacy to look back on. 
Anyway, I had one copy of “Sweating to the Oldies” but I let someone borrow it and never got it back so I bought some new ones.  I bought two toning workouts and one aerobics.  I LOVE THEM!!
Hooked up my trainer
My bicycle trainer that is. :)  I had this trainer for a few years now but my old bike doesn’t work with it.  I went to Goodwill the other day and found a $500 bike (I googled the price) for $30.  I figured that if it didn’t work on my trainer then I could just clean it up and sell it on Craigslist….but it worked and now I can train for bike races and/or triathlons.  Biking on ‘real’ roads scars the be-jeezus out of me so I will stick to training on the trainer for now.
Watched my garden grow
I will have a full update at the end of the summer as to how my first ever garden did, but here is a sneak peak.
Went to the Frio River
My family has a house at the Frio River in Concan, TX that we went to in June.  The Frio (or Garner State Park) is one of my all-time favorite places in the world.  It is so peaceful just to sit on a float, tie myself to a rock and just relax under the trees and the wind.  I prefer to be at the Frio rather than a beach any day.

A dragonfly even landed on me…Doesn’t that equal good luck?

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Yikes!

I have officially come out of my "running retirement" for at least one race, Toughest 10K Kemah. I will possibly sign up for the other races in the series, the Galveston 10K and LaPorte by the Bay Half Marathon depending on how this one goes.


The races are part of the Texas Bridge Series and if you complete all three races (same year), you get a 4th medal for free!!  I have done this race twice (#1 and #2) before and did the other races in the series as well (once for Galveston  #1 and twice for LaPorte, #1 and #2).  Or go to my Running page here to see all of my race recaps.


I LOVE all of the Running Alliance Sport races because they have the best medals and other race swag/perks.  Free beer!  Customized bibs!  Glitter and sometimes moveable parts on race medals!  Tech t-shirts in race packets!  Free parking!!  Etc!

The race registration is only $35 (that is CHEAP considering what all you get) until July 31st.


If you are interested (but maybe scared!), please consider just pulling the registration trigger and joining me.  I will help you AND as a bonus, any of my friends who join me that day will get a special present from me the day of the race.  (Don't ask me what it is, I don't know yet. haha).  I will need you to comment on FB (if we're friends) or email me steph53282 at yahoo.com to tell me you registered because of this post. (I don't get anything special because of it, I just want to see my friends get healthy and have fun).

Let's get our "healthy on" together!

For the story of how I started running, click here.  

Friday, July 15, 2016

Deceptive Practices in MLM's

I was on FB this morning and I saw something that REALLY irks me.  I have a few pet peeves and this one is one of them.

I get so many direct sales pushes on my news feed.  I’m not against those, everybody needs to make a living.  You can even push your “perfect business opportunity” to everyone that you pay to have see your site.  Go for it, girl.

BUT when you are deceptive about it, that is where it gets to me.  I have seen people post about how they’re now staying at home and being mom ALL because of their XYZ business.  NOPE!  You are staying at home because husband makes great money and you were going to stay at home anyway when you had kids. 

Wouldn’t it be so much more powerful to say “I was a stay at home mom and loved it, but I needed something for ME that I could build and be proud of” instead of LYING and saying it is ALL because of your business? 

It’s not because of your business, your spouse makes a great income and you were already staying at home.  How do you think your spouse would feel if they saw that?  Would they think that their efforts are for nothing and that YOU did everything, including ‘bringing home the bacon?’ 

It’s like them saying that they support you and you do nothing all day.  Which is not true because you cook, clean, watch kids, etc. 

Granted, some people stay at home but the budget is tight and do something on the side to make extra $$. GREAT!!  I'm not knocking that.  

I'm talking about hte people who say they stay at home BECAUSE of their business when they really do not.

Hopefully you make “great money” (What is great money?  Why don’t they share the amount?) and you are successful, but to say it is ALL because of your business, that is not right. 

Just own it and say at first it was just extra spending money but it grew over itme and now you can pay a mortgage or a vacation or something.  I don’t know how much you make.

I sell Mary Kay (and I have seen deceptive practices for them too) myself  but I would hope that I do not do something that is deceptive to get someone on my team. 


ANOTHER EXAMPLE (this is the one that originally prompted this post). 

To be clear, I am not knocking the industry, BeachBody or any specfiic company, I am expressing my opinion that this girl is deceiving people with her wording in her marketing attempts. I do not think that BeachBody themselves had anything to do with telling this coach how to market her business.

This post is from a Coach for BeachBody that is offering a job opportunity that is really paying your way into a direct selling organization.  BUT she mentions it is NOT sales.  How is selling a product  not sales? 

Of course you are helping people lose weight and gain fitness, but you do have to SELL your products.

If your main goal is to help people, then give your services away for free.  Not wanting to do that?  Then it is sales.

This is from Kaileigh Hennessey, a BeachBody Coach, that has a team called Devoted to Health. 


In the SPONSORED (PAID) post on Facebook she has a picture of herself that says “New PAID Interns Wanted” and “APPLY NOW”.



Interesting because are they really paid internships?  Doesn’t “Apply Now” equal a job?  Why would someone need to apply to pay money to join a company?  That is NOT a job, it is an ‘opportunity” and should not be promoted as a Job or “Internship”.  That is deceptive.

Who is paying this internship?  BeachBody the company themselves?  I don't think so.  This girl isn't either.

At least 15 people responded that they were interested.  She responded by saying 'I just messaged you' to all of them.  

If it was so great, why couldn’t she just tell them what it job is right there in the comments instead of messaging them? 

I know, because her upline told her not too or they wouldn't think it was a job.  

It’s not a JOB or an INTERNSHIP.  See the definition below of a Job.  You might call it a job in your industry, but a job is regular employment, not an “opportunity” for money if you work hard enough.



Again, to be clear, I am not knocking the industry, I am knocking this girl and ALL MLM’s that do this type of deceptive marketing. I truly feel that you can make money in MLM if you work hard enough.


Then you have to “Apply” to be on her team.  Girl, we all know that you will accept any warm body that wants to join you.  You aren’t picky. 



Nowhere in the Facebook post does she talk about BeachBody.  Nowhere.  It might be OK if they stumble upon her page but this is a SPONSORED post that she paid for people that she doesn't know or have any connection with to see. 

She makes it sound like a job and that is deceptive.  It is an OPPORTUNITY, not a job or an internship.  It is not right to take advantage of people who need a job.  Yes, offer an opportunity, but do not make it seem like a job (by applying) in a paid post.






I commented on her post and she deleted it.  It is her post and she can delete whatever she likes BUT if she does not agree with me, then why couldn’t she just respond with a comment with her side? I am all open for discussion.

Because she knows it is deceptive and it doesn’t go along with her “Just a small town girl doing God’s work with her hands” message that is her cover photo. 


Does God promote being deceptive?  Nope!


Please, if you ever read this and you are in direct sales, MLM, dual marketing, etc do not be deceptive in recruiting team members. This type of stuff is how the industry gets a bad name.  Be truthful and share YOUR STORY.  It is the best story you have, don’t twist it. 


People are always attracted to truth tellers and God will reward you for that.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Do You Remember?

I just found this in my Facebook memories.  I guess I saw a video with this back in 2014 and posted about it. What a great message!

My wish today is that YOU remember when you were amazing and get that confidence back again, darling.  You are a child of God! :)


Anyway, enjoy and Happy Saturday!!


Don't Stop Seeing Yourself

When did you start imagining who you could become?

When did you start thinking about the possibilities?

Do you remember when looking in the mirror wasn't about the self-critique, and when flaws had no place in your reflection?

Because all you knew, is that you were enough.



Do you remember when empowerment meant choosing your own outfit every morning?

When no one ever had to ask you to strike a pose.

When you'd practice your own signature, because you knew who important you were.

When your dreams weren't just dreams, they were plans.

Do you remember, when your to-do list went from "hope-to's" and "want-to's" to "need-to's" and "supposed-to's?"

When who you were and who you wanted to be were the same?



When did you stop seeing the girl in the mirror who never questioned herself?

Let your heart remember that you're still looking through the same set of eyes.

Don't stop seeing everything you have yet to try, experience, and accomplish.

We say, "don't stop."

Don't stop seeing your future you.

Don't stop.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Beautiful

I just found this amazing video.  I cried watching them.  My goal is to be able to do this at Christmastime. 



Friday, June 3, 2016

Playing in the Rain

It’s raining in Houston!  I went to my parents’ house on Wednesday night to see my aunt who is in town and my nephews who were staying over and almost didn’t make it over there.  It took 2 ½ hours to get home and I almost flooded out.  My parents live off a major road and have about 4 entrances to the subdivision.  The main entrance was so flooded that even trucks couldn’t get through; one side entrance was blocked by the street so I couldn’t even make it to the entrance.

I went to the last one and saw water but I wasn’t sure how deep it was.  There was a guy backing out in an SUV so I watched him to see how deep the water was, but even after he made it safely I wasn’t 100% sure my little car could make it.  The guy said I could make it if I went slow but I think I had a look of doubt on my face.  He said “I wouldn’t send you if it wasn’t ok, I promise” so I took his word for it and went slowly….and made it!!  Yay!  I was safely inside the neighborhood, or so I thought because there were about 5 more puddles that I had to make it through before I weaved my way around to my parents’ house.   Luckily none of them were as deep as the first one so I got there ok.  Whew!

I got to my parents’ house and saw my mom and sister (my dad is/was out of town) both outside soaking wet doing something in the backyard.  Apparently the pool was not draining because of blockage to the pipe so they were out there in the pouring rain trying to clear a path for all of the water to drain.  Luckily they were able to get it clear and no water got in the house.  It really wasn’t close to being flooded but with the rain coming down so hard and a blockage, it could have risen quickly.
 
One side of the neighborhood (not the main entrance)
This has never happened before to their neighborhood or really the area that they live in but there is a theory floating around in all of Houston about the City taking bribes from contractors to develop areas but the contractors are not planning for proper drainage.  The water has nowhere to go and this is the 2nd year in a row that random houses that have never before in history flooded.  I heard today that there was a class action lawsuit pending.   Crazy!

We had three kids to entertain in the rain and we had originally had planned on going swimming, but we couldn’t do that. :/   BUT we did the next best thing, play in the rain! 


Let me tell ya’…it was SO COLD!  We all got clothes on (the kids got their suits on) and were splashing in puddles in the street.  At first my sister (who used to be fun btw) was being crabby and wouldn’t let my niece go, but then she decided she wanted to go so she let my niece go.  The neighbors were laughing at us and said that it looked like fun.  It was getting cold and it started lightening so we went inside, but all in all we were out there for about 20 minutes.  That’s longer than it seems!


My aunt decided to stay at my grandparents’ house so I went through all of that water for nothing!  Well, not nothing, I got to see my family and play in the rain. :)
 
No one else wanted their picture taken!
Later, when I was all warm, dry and toasty while watching Sponge Bob (yuck!) with the kids, my Mom calls my grandma and she said her house was about to flood!  The water was trapped in the backyard and the water was seeping into the house via the screen in porch.  My mom freaked out and we all got in the car.  My mom panics in these types of situations.  Usually I sort of do too, but I was able to keep level headed and gather supplies to bail out water if necessary.  All my mom said was “Grandmother’s house is flooding” and proceeded to freak out and get the kids together.  I didn’t really know if that meant the water was right there or if it was about to be so I just grabbed some hard plastic and medal stuff like coolers and pots in case we needed to lift up furniture (I couldn’t find milk crates!) and bail out water.

On the way over there we had to go a few different routes because we couldn’t get through, even with the huge truck that we were in.  We even saw an Expedition flipped over in a pool of water.  Craziness!  We made it to Grandmother’s and figured out how the water was trapped and that we could move a board in the fence to make the water drain.  Within a few minutes the water had receded by a few inches and was draining very quickly.  When we first got there it was up to my shin!  The house next door is vacant but we went ahead and did the same thing for their fence too so that house wouldn’t flood.  All of their water was flowing into Grandmother’s yard anyway it just made sense to clear a board for them too.  Hopefully there house wasn’t flooded before we got there!

We got home about 10:30 pm and I pretty much fell right to sleep since I had to go to work the next morning.  I woke up to get dressed but it was still raining.  I drove to the front of the neighborhood to see if I was still blocked in and I was.  I let work know that I was blocked in and told them that I would try again in the afternoon.  By noon the water had receded enough to let me through but it was about to get bad again (per the weatherman) and I didn’t want to get stuck somewhere just in case so I just took the entire day off.


That’s my flood story!  Hopefully everyone is ok!