Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Strong Body, Fit Body DVD Review

New fitness DVD review!  Strong Body, Fit Body by Erin O'Brien

I have actually had this DVD for a while now, but I haven’t written a review on it yet. Much like its predecessor, Strong BodyAgeless Body, this one is great! This DVD for sure if for those people who want to get in a good workout, but aren’t hardcore workout freaks. I have several DVD’s at home that I can’t even get through the warm up (cough, P90X, cough) and I feel defeated. Erin O’Brien’s DVD’s are for anyone, at any fitness level. I believe the DVD was released in 2010, so Mrs. O’Brien, if you are out there…your fans want/need another one! :)

I especially liked this DVD because it included more cardio and weight training than her first DVD. I love how she does each move with you the entire time, instead of just doing a few reps and talking you through it. It’s like she knows what you are going through and feels your pain! Plus, it’s just her, in her home (I’m assuming it’s her home), not a studio with a bunch of skinny girls doing the routine breathlessly while painting their nails. I am always sweaty and red faced at the end of the DVD, so I know that I got a good workout in. At one point I have to stop and breath after the set so I won’t get sick or pass out-ONLY because I get light headed and motion sick when I stand up and sit down too many times in a row. The first set has you getting down to do pushups and tricep kickbacks, and then jumping in the air. I always have to sit down and breath for a few minutes after that set in order not to get stick. I am just weird like that though! Normal people aren’t like me. LOL.

The DVD is set up as a warm-up, set 1, set 2, set 3, set 4 review, abs, and then stretching. She teaches you step by step each move, making sure you do it correctly with proper form, and then you go onto the next move. After you have learned the moves, you go through each one from the top. That concludes each of the 3 sets. The 4th set is all of the first three sets, in order, and at tempo pace. I have done the DVD multiple times and know when she will say certain things like ‘tip-toes’ or ‘tricep kickbacks’. I have it memorized. I really think Erin is a great trainer with a cute personality. You feel like she really cares about you, like she is your own personal trainer. I feel like in other trainers videos they try and make themselves look the best or sell as many DVD’s as possible, I don’t get that vibe from Erin O’Brien at all. I think she genuinely wants everyone to have a strong body and do the moves correctly.

Since she is doing the moves alongside you, she includes motivation sayings like ‘today is the today you will get through it’ or ‘don’t panic’ when she knows that there is a move coming up that might be challenging to her audience, but she knows you can get through it if you push through.
I highly recommend this DVD as a workout!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Strawberry Picking

The #1 Bucket list item that is being checked off for 2014 is "Go strawberry picking"  Whoo hoo!!

On Saturday I went with my friend Savannah to Froberg's Farm in Alvin, TX to go strawberry picking.  I have always wanted to go strawberry picking and once I saw that Froberg's strawberry picking was open, I made sure to tell my friends.  A few other people were supposed to come with me, but things happen and only one person was able to go.  We got there around 2:30 pm and headed out to the field.  You buy a reusable bucket for $1 and then pay $2.50 per pound after that.  I think I bought $12 worth of strawberries at the end of my strawberry picking.

They told us to head to the back left of the field since no one  had been to that part that day.  We each picked a lane and got to picking!  There were so many berries everywhere!  I thought they would have been damaged in the freeze from the day before, but they weren't!  My bucket was full in no time.

Savanna and I hadn't seen each other in awhile, so we just spent the time catching up.

It's early in the season, but the strawberries are wonderful!  I have been eating strawberries at literally EVERY meal since I got home on Saturday.  I have made strawberry waffles, strawberry salads, strawberry smoothies, and strawberry cereal.  I need to try to freeze them before they go bad.

Go pick some strawberries!!  Yummy!!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

New Year, New You Challenge

There is 90 days left until the Driving Jacks 5K in April (well, there was when I thought of this!) and I want to be prepared for it.  No, I am not running in it, I am running it...planning it that is.  I was looking at the 2012 pictures and I was not a fan of how I looked, so this year I want to look healthier.  Part of my look from 2012 was based on no sleep, but that is beside the point.

I created a 90 Day New Year, New You Challenge between me and my friend Terrie.  Terrie and her mom are both running in the 5K, so they wanted to get in shape for it too.  I created a three month calendar for us to workout to. It really is just a calendar made in word that I added two little black dresses and the header too. Super easy to make.
Once you work out, you get a sticker or smiley face added.  Each sticker equals $1 and at the end of the month you get to total up your money and spend it on whatever you want.  Hopefully new clothes since you will be skinny!  Of course healthy eating will go along with this challenge, but I wanted to focus on movement.  I didn't want everyone to have to track calories and stuff, so I didn't include that in the challenge.  Plus, I am not shilling any magic product to make you lose weight, I just want to move myself and I do better with friends keeping me accountable.

"Rules" to get a gold star/smiley face/checkmark/sticker:
1.  A workout must be at least 1 mile or more (walking or running).  If you are a beginner, 1 mile is good, if you are not, challenge yourself and you decide what counts as a gold star-but be consistent with it
2.  OR a 45 minute workout in weights or cardio
3.  OR a 1 exercise DVD (at least 30-45 minutes)

I invited some FB friends to join us too and YOU are welcome to join as well.  I am going to try to send out weekly updates on my progress and motivation via email, but like evidenced in the past, I tend to slack off on my challenge updates.  

So, join us!  I would be happy to include you in the weekly emails.  Email me and I will add you random internet stranger. :)

p.s.  I plan on doing a few workouts from my pinterest board to knock out some of my 32 before 32 (which I haven't even started yet!  Yikes!).

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

New Shower Curtain

For Christmas my grandmother gave me a new shower curtain that I had my eye on.  I still love my old shower curtain, but it was time for a change.  My new one is from World’s Plus Market in case anyone likes it too.

I put it up last week and it really opened up my bathroom, I didn’t realize how dark my bathroom was before with my old shower curtain.  I keep a plastic liner inside the tub, so this shower curtain is mainly for decoration.  I love the pretty little birds on it!  I am a sucker for pretty birds!

So, with my old shower curtain I had brown hooks with it and they just didn’t match the new curtain.  The shower curtain doesn’t have brown in it and they were just too dark.  See?

Well, I looked on eBay (I had some money in my PayPal account) and I found some cool jewel ones that look much better!  What do you think?  They are a little too princess for my taste (I HATE princess crap), but I really think they complement the curtain.  I was thinking of replacing my towels on the towel rack and the bath mat to a gray color.  I am still working on the entire thing!

I am not sure why I felt that I had to show everyone my new shower curtain, but I love it and wanted to share! :)  I am trying to do a revamp of my living space, cleaning stuff out and getting rid of the clutter.  I have a lot of stuff and I am trying to clean out the clutter of my life in all areas.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Poltergeist Lights

For the past few weeks my lights have been flickering off and on randomly.  On Tuesday night it was like the exorcist was in there.  I was sitting on my couch, reading my Nook, with the kitchen light on and the living room light on, when the living room light started flickering and humming really loudly.  I freaked out and turned it off and then the kitchen light started.  It was going on for a while so I got my phone and started recording it so when I called in to maintenance they wouldn’t think I was crazy.  Don’t you hate when something breaks and you try to get it fixed, but it won’t do it then?  Well, yeah, I wanted the proof on video.  This video is of the only light that is on in the apartment and no major appliances are on either.  The video is from my phone, so it sort of sucks, but you can see the lights flickering.

After videotaping it for a while, I heard this sizzling and then a burning smell.  My TV (that was plugged in, but not on), was burning.  The freakin’ electrical burned my TV to pieces!  Granted, I don’t watch TV, only movies, but still!  That is when I decided to call the maintenance and have them come out right away.

The maintenance guy that came out was not certified in electrical work, but assured me that he knew “all about electrical stuff”.  I tried and tried to get them to come out with an actual electrician, but to no avail. He said that electricians only get called for ‘big stuff’ and that he can handle it.  I said it just fried my TV. and my apartment smells like burnt popcorn now; he blamed the problem on the TV. being old. I said no.  He went out to get a ladder and the poltergeist struck again.  Luckily, he came back and it was still going crazy (he didn’t care to watch the video I had on my phone).  He turned on the laundry room light and the living room lamp turned off (which is two rooms away).  I said that is not normal.  He took down a light fixture because he said it was a loose wire, and then he taped it up and was ready to go.  I told him I didn’t feel comfortable with that since it still wasn’t safe.  I said you aren’t even a trained electrician, and he said ‘how do you know that’ and I said that you told me that you weren’t earlier!  I think he just wanted to leave since he didn’t really know what the heck he was doing.

I have him on video saying that the apartment is 100% safe and there was no chance of fire at all.  I asked him if he would feel 100% safe staying in the apartment that night, he said yes.  I asked him if he felt 100% safe leaving his child there that night, he said that he doesn’t leave his children by themselves-basically saying no, that he didn’t feel comfortable.  Well, Jabba is my kid and if the maintenance man is telling me that there is no chance of a fire but he wouldn’t leave his child there, would you really feel comfortable with his non-expert opinion?  Probably not! 

He called the maintenance supervisor (that didn’t want to come out either) and he assured me that it was 100% safe to stay there that night.  He said that the fire department would not give them permits if they weren’t safe. I slept with one eye opened that night to be sure that the electrical system was not going to burn the apartment down (and 23 other apartments that are connected).  The maintenance supervisor came out the next morning with his whole crew to check out the system.  They said it was fixed and that if the lights flicker (or poltergeist) one more time, then they will call an electrician.

So, that is my poltergeist electrical issue and how my maintenance guys really don’t know what the heck is going on, but still refuse to call an electrician.  I really don’t know what to do.  I don’t care about my stuff; I care about Jabba getting hurt or worse.  The management is not the best at my apartments, despite it being a nice apartment complex and supposedly a nice management company.  I just re-signed for a 1 year lease.  Pray that nothing happens!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Jabba's New Trick

If you remember the other day when Jabba ate through the bag of food that was on the floor, you figured I needed to buy a plastic container to put his food in.  Great, no problem.  I did that.  Well, wouldn’t you know that someone has learned how to open said container? 
I really just don’t know what to do with that child.  I mean seriously!  Obviously, his diet is not working.  I need a Plan B.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Moody Gardens Festival of Lights

On Saturday we went to the Festival of Lights at MoodyGardens in Galveston with my friend Terry and her mom.  We wanted to get to Galveston before dark so that they could look for a beach house to rent later this month. After we drove around looking for beach houses, we went to dinner at Nick’s Kitchen.  Dinner was ok, but not great.  I got bacon wrapped shrimp, but they were SOAKED in this brown sugar sauce that was overwhelming and then they had a maple syrup like sauce to dip it in.  Not good.  I couldn’t finish them.  The scalloped potatoes were good and so was the side salad, but I wasn’t a fan of the shrimp.

After dinner we headed to the Festival of Lights.  You walk down the paths and there is lights surrounding you on both sides.  It was very pretty. 
Then, there was the story of the birth of Jesus that was told in lights.  Check out the video below.

Throughout the property there were tons of lights of all different themes.  I wasn’t sure what to expect, but everything looked awesome! 

We were almost to the end of the trail when we saw that they were selling s’mores!  If you know anything about me, you know that I can NEVER pass up s’mores.  EVER!! 
I thought it was a great that they would have s’mores there and what a great money maker!  There were lines of people just waiting to get a s’more.  The girl had two huge Rubbermaid tubes full of ziplock s’mores.  $3 for two graham crackers, 2 marshmallows, and a piece of chocolate is a great idea.  The funds went to several projects locally.

 We had a fun night, I am glad I got to go.  Great job on the lights Moody Gardens!

Monday, January 6, 2014

2014 Houston Fire Fighters Calendar

A friend at work has a son that is a fire fighter and just so happens to be in the 2014 Houston Fire Fighter Calendar!!  Guess who got a signed copy!  This girl!  Isn’t that guy on the cover HOT?!  OMG.  Love the eyes.  Ladies, I will do my best to see if he is single or not. ;)

Anyway, Mr. May signed my copy.  It says “Stephanie, On Call For You 24/7! David xoxo”.  Swoon.  Haha. 
I especially like Mr. November (I wonder if he is single?)
And Mr. October is my friend Katie’s friend from high school.

I thought my friend Chris was supposed to be in it, but when I went to look for him in the calendar, he wasn’t in it.  I am not sure what happened and he deleted his FB profile so I can’t ask him! 

Buy your copy of the calendar today!  They are $20 and all proceeds go to the Houston Fire Fighters Burned Children’s Fund.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

New Year's Eve 2013

I hope you all have had a wonderful start to 2014!  My New Year’s Eve was super fun this year.  My original plan was to travel to Dallas like last year and we would all go out again, but in mid-December I decided that I didn’t want to travel to Dallas and wasn’t up for partying too much.  I have never been one to drink a ton and babysitting a bunch of drunk people til 3 am just wasn’t something I have the energy for these days.  Last year was really fun, but I just wasn’t up for it this year.  I was really sad that I wouldn’t see my Dallas friends, but hopefully they will come to Nacogdoches for the DrivingJacks 5K in April!

So what did I end up doing for New Year’s Eve?  I went to a Rockets game and then we had a private party at the stadium for about 500 of us.  My church, Houston’s First, has a HUGE single’s department and each year they host a New Year’s Eve party at a different venue.  Last year the party was some sort of hoe-down, but that isn’t my thing (plus I went to Dallas).  There isn’t drinking at the party, which was 100% fine with me!  It is so much easier to have fun without worrying about DD’s and making sure your friends don’t get arrested or go home with someone they shouldn’t. LOL.

I got off work at 3 pm and headed straight to Starbucks.  I knew that I wouldn’t be able to stay awake by myself without some sort of caffeine in me, so I got a venti pumpkin spice with an extra shot.  I am a person who goes to bed early (by 10 pm) everyone night and anything past mid-night better be a REALLY special occasion. :)  I also had volunteered at a New Year’s Day 5K and had to be there at 6 am and I knew that Starbucks wouldn’t be open then, so I got another iced latte without the ice.  Trick/life hack:  Get the ice latte without the ice, stick it in the fridge, add ice whenever you are ready to drink it so it won’t have a watered down taste!

I wasn’t sure what I wanted to wear to the party; I had a few ideas but when I went to try them on, they didn’t fit or didn’t look right.  I am determined to lose the weight I gained back since finishing marathon training.  I ended up wearing the dress I wore to Chelsea and Matt’s wedding last year with a sweater and heels.  Several people were carpooling to the event, so we all met up at the church at 5pm.  We got to the Rocket’s game right at 5:45 pm and got our tickets and wrist bands.  I had never been to a professional basketball game before (or even college game I don’t think), but I have always wanted to.  You know what that means? BUCKET LIST ITEM!!!  :)

 We sat down in our seats and watched the game.  At first I wasn’t into the game, but then as time went on I started to enjoy myself.  Let me tell you, Rockets games are much more entertaining than Astros games.  I love the Astros (or any Houston team), but OMG they are boring to watch.  Plus, in baseball they really don’t have a close up monitor.  In basketball you can see their faces  and stare at the hotties.  ;)  Just sayin’.  They also had great entertainment throughout the game, I especially liked the senior dance skit and the basketball players that did somersaults on trampolines!
After the game they moved us downstairs to the court for two people to talk to us.  One of them was the chaplain for the Rockets, and the other was a pro basketball player talking about his testimony.  I was upstairs helping set up for the event (it’s the event planner in me) so I only partly heard his story.  After I was done setting up the tables, I went downstairs just in time to get to shoot a free-throw on the court!  I did my best impression of a NBA player, but alas I did not make the shot.  My much hoped for career of being a pro basketball player did not work out. :/  Any scouts in the audience were disappointed I am sure. 


After we were all done shooting free throws, we all went back upstairs to the Sky Court area to play game and get our party on.  They had karaoke set up and guess what song we sang?  New Kids on the Block’s “You got the Right Stuff”.  We thought it would be super fun, but it turns out that it wasn’t a song we remembered very much so it sort of blew. LOL.  Next time I am totally singing Call me Maybe! 

There were a ton of other games like basketball (obviously). 


Light up game (you hit the lights when they came on to test your reaction time) 

Free Throws

Wii (which I of course did not play)

Then, you could put your feet in a model of pro basketball player’s feet.  These guys shoe size are huge! 

There was also a dance floor where we all met to countdown the night.  So fun!  We did some YMCA, Cupid’s Shuffle, and more.  They also had a late night breakfast of eggs, pancakes and sausage for us plus tons of sodas and juice.  The tables I had set up earlier had mints, party hats, blowers, horns and games to play.


The party was over at 1 am, but the group I ended up riding with left around 12:45.  I got hope around 1:30 am and kissed a very cute cat Happy New Years and promptly went to bed.  I had to get up at 5 am to volunteer the next day.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year!

Jabba and I would like to wish you a
Happy New Year! 
 I hope 2014 will be your best year yet! ;)