Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Polar Express Train Ride

For Christmas this year I took my niece to the Polar Express Train Ride in Palestine, TX.  I prefer to give experiences as presents instead of actual gifts that they will outgrow or eventually not want anymore.  Plus, (most) kids have so many toys that they don’t need anything new.  I know my niece and nephews get so many presents on Christmas that they don’t even have time to open all of them.

The Polar Express is in Palestine, TX which is about two and a half hours from Houston.  We left the house about noon and I thought we would have plenty of time to make it before the 3:30 pm departure time.  Well, between the cries of “my chicken is too cold” and “I have to go to the bathroom” stops we didn’t make it until 3 pm.  They said to get there about an hour beforehand to make sure to get a parking spot.  I was sweating it out on the drive because I wasn’t sure we had time, but luckily we were able to get a parking space easily.  There was even a few golf carts that were giving people with little kids free (with optional tip) rides to the front.

We got our tickets and boarded the plane.  Kali got to hold a golden ticket that the conductor came by and punched, just like in the movie.  Kali wasn’t very happy that the conductor messed up her golden ticket! Haha.

We started moving and they almost immediately served hot chocolate and a chocolate chip cookie to each of us (parents too).  Kali was not interested in the hot chocolate but loved the cookie. 

They had a recording over the loud speaker reading the book out loud and each of the servers were holding up a large book. You can buy a wrapped copy of the book with your tickets for $22 but I already had a copy that I won in a silent auction years ago that I just wrapped up and gave to her when we got on the train. 

We got to the “North Pole” and there was a few houses with elves and a Santa that were waiving at us.  Santa came on board after all the kids “wished” for him to come.  He magically appeared!  He signed an autograph in Kali’s book (a few other characters did too-Hobo Nick??, the Conductor, and one of the Chef’s) and gave her a bell.  She was very excited that she met Santa.

After Santa left there was dancing in the aisle for the rest of the time.  As we were leaving a few of the Chef’s said that Kali was there favorite.  I will admit that she looked super cute in her Santa pj’s and her hair up in pigtails. 

Afterward we went to buy souvenirs from the gift shop.  The gift shop isn’t too small (about the same size as a nail salon) but it is crowded with all of the families.  There was so many options to choose from:  conductor hats, whistles, trains, ornaments (a few varieties), shirts, train track sets, etc.  I was only planning on getting an ornament for my collection, but Miss Kali decided that she just had to get a train.  Who am I to say no to that little face?

After the gift shop we waved by to the train that was leaving the station and we started to walk to the car.  Kali saw some kids walking on the (non-functioning) train tracks and wanted to walk on them too.  I think that kid had more fun walking on the train tracks than she did on the train!  We walked and walked and walked and walked on the tracks.  I kept trying to get her to stop but that is all she wanted to do.  I think she really liked trying to balance on the tracks.  We really need to get her in gymnastics!

After we walked on the tracks for an hour, we went back to say hello to the train that was coming back.  She didn’t like how loud the train’s whistle was.  We think she has really sensitive ears because she doesn’t like loud noises at all.  We waved goodbye to the train and headed home. 

We got our picture taken outside by this sign.  We added it to the photo ornament that we bought to hang on the tree so that we will remember our time.

On the way home she watched a movie on the dvd player.  My mom has had this dvd player for years and it always starts over when it hits a bump.  On the way there the car hit a bump and she was so disappointed.  She wanted to “try it just to see” so we did.  When the movie was over she said “I’m so proud of it!” because it didn’t skip. LOL.  She’s too funny.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Funny Story Where I earned $4.63

The other day at work I went to get a snack at the vending machine and dropped at dime.  I bent down to pick it up and noticed more change under there.  I had the bright idea to check all the floors (I can get to 4 of them) and I came up with $4.63 in change!!!

Hey, it's free money people!  I think of it as the same as when you find change on the ground of a parking lot.  I can just imagine how much change is just sitting under vending machines just begging to be picked up.  So, the next time you are at a hospital or somewhere else with vending machines, be sure to look underneath it!

Be sure to bring a ruler though because some are way back in there and we couldn't reach them without one.  Also, be sure you aren't wearing black pants because they will get dirty from the floor fuzz.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Happenings Lately Vol 12

Hey guys!  I hope all is well in your land.  Here are some things that I have been up to lately or just news that I have been meaning to write about. 

Happy Halloween and Happy Birthday to my sister, Laura! 
I am going to my parents’ house tonight to take my niece trick-or-treating.  So fun.  She is going as Super Girl.  I will try and get a pic.

I did my American duty and voted
Let’s be honest, both candidates are not the best but I believe in one party 85% so I voted for that person.  We shall see how the election goes.

Picnic in the Park
We went to church last weekend and afterwards had an impromptu picnic in the park. 

Crackin’ Pecans
A friend gave me a big bag of pecans from her yard and I brought them over to my parent’s house to crack them.  We convinced my grandmother via Facebook to make us a pecan pie.  She said “How can I say no with all of these witnesses”.  LOL.  That was our plan! :)
She is a HAM!  I love that face.
5K eBook
I sold my first eBook on my 5K planning site.  I am not sure if I mentioned that I was making a website based on this post that sells an eBook on it.  My first one sold the other day and I was ecstatic!  I looked at my phone and noticed a PayPal logo on the notifications and wasn’t sure why.  I got a very nice surprise when I opened it and saw that my first copy of my eBook sold!!!!!!

Simmons Studio
I am saddened to hear that Richard Simmons is closing his L.A. Studio, Slimmons, in November.  I am so glad that I checked it off my bucket list when I did.

Ice Cream Sandwich
I am on a diet (25 lbs gone!) and noticed that this bench at work looks exactly like an ice cream sandwich.  The mind plays tricks on you when you aren’t getting sugar!  :)  #youknowyouareonadietwhen

Garage Sale Success
We had a garage sale at my parents’ house and made $375!  Well, I made $10 and my parents made $365.  I woke up at 4 am and was going non-stop until 1:30 pm, when I promptly took a nap.  I really love garage sales! #myparentshavealotofcrap

LinkedIn Lawsuit
Remember way back when LinkedIn contacted me about a class-action lawsuit?  Well, apparently they won and had to pay out.  I received a total of $20.43 that was promptly put in my savings account.  #savingforahouse
Please excuse the bad "MS Paint" job
Mystery Shop
Speaking of savings, I am still doing mystery shops for extra $$!  (Go to this post for a list of the reputable companies I have used.)  I got an email from Sinclair about getting a $15 (plus up to $10 reimbursement for food) bonus for a pizza shop in my area that is on the way home. I signed up because hey, who wouldn’t want $15 for pizza!  Pizza is not on my diet plan (cheese) so my plan was to give it to a homeless person on the street but I could not find any!  It was a Friday night so maybe they all went to do something else.  Anyway, $15!

Inbox Dollars
Also, check out Inbox Dollars to sign up for some surveys.  It is so easy to make money for them.  I have made $90 total but about $30 each time-usually about twice a year.  I know it isn’t too much, but if you sign up you can make money before Christmas and have some stocking stuffer $$.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Fun With Famous People

So last week I met two famous people, I guess it was a week of celebrities.  :)  Jose Altuve came to my work for a bit (I've met him a few times) and Rachel Cruze was in Houston for a book signing that I went to.

Rachel Cruze came to the Houston area to do a book signing for her new book, Love Your Life, Not Theirs.  Rachel Cruze, in case you didn't know, is Dave Ramsey's daughter and is a member of his Ramsey Personalities team.  She is super sweet and hugged everyone that came through the line.  I didn't feel rushed at all. She seems like a person you would really like to be friends with in real life. :)

I really liked her pants.  She told me what kind they were, but I don't remember what she said.
I have gotten through a few chapters and I love it!  It is about money management as well as not comparing yourself to your friends/families/acquaintances life.  She talks about how people use the #blessed hashtag (or a variation) as a way of humble bragging.  'My husband just bought me a new Mercedes #blessed' or something like that.  I really loved it.

They were also giving away $1,000 to one lucky person and also a wallet she designed.  I didn't win either one f those drawings. :/  That's OK because those people needed it more than me, I suppose.  But darn it, who wouldn't want a $1,000?!

Jose Altuve (of the Houston Astros) came to my work and I was able to take a picture with him. (That's all I can really say about him coming!  I don't want to mix work with my blog).

Anyway, it was the week of celebrity!

Sunday, October 16, 2016

2/3rds Done-Galveston Toughest 10K Recap

Saturday was the Toughest 10K Galveston race that is the 2nd race of the Texas Bridge Series races.  It was not as bad as the first race, but it was not a walk in the park.  When will I learn that I actually need to train for races? Oh right, I thought these races would encourage me to train...nope!

I stayed at my Uncle's house in Pearland the night before the race so that my aunt Laura and I could get up early and head out to get the best parking spot.   We all stayed up way to late into the night talking and I hardly got any sleep.  I need my sleep or I am a crab (did you see what I did there...crab. Galveston...not funny?)

Anyway we got to the race and were able to park with ease.  The race itself was uneventful except I wasn't feeling it.  I really wanted the 4th medal though so I pushed on.  The things I will do for race medals.  I thought I liked the Kemah race better, but I really liked the Galveston one better.  I remember not really liking this race, but I liked it a whole lot more than Kemah this time around.  I think it was Kemah was just too hot in September.

I did 2 minutes faster (whoo hoo) than I did in Kemah, which is weird because I felt like I walked a lot more this time.  Who knows!

A few friends from church were running the race too and we took a picture.  . We were supposed to all wear our medals to church today, but my eye is a bit infected...I'm hoping it isn't pink eye.

After the race our plan was to go to the Farmer's Market, get lunch and then have mimosas on the beach but we got to the Farmer's Market area and apparently it is on Sunday and not Saturday. I"m not sure how we both missed that on the website, but we did.  We went to the Galveston Greek Festival instead!

The tickets were only $3 and then you paid for whatever food/dessert/drink/souvenir you wanted. Laura got the plate dinner and I got some sides mixed together.  I thought the grape leaf things I got were just rice filled but apparently they had some sort of meat, I think lamb.  I didn't want to waste it, so I ate it.  I know, it's not plant based but it was one time and I hate wasting food.

We watched some dancers do a little number and listened to a band for a bit before heading home.  We had mimosas when we got back to Roger's and I took a nap on the couch before heading home.

Fun day, fun weekend!  How was yours?

Friday, October 7, 2016

Have A Great Weekend!

I just wanted to pop in and tell everyone to have a great weekend!  I am not planning on doing much this weekend except veg out and watch the rest of the Walking Dead.  I am on Season 5 about halfway through.  I might go see a movie, either The Girl on the Train or Ms. Peregine’s Home for Peculiar Children.  I started reading the Peculiar Children book but haven’t finished it.   I’m leaning more towards The Girl on the Train movie. 

A few cute pictures of my niece!  We went shopping at Marshall’s the other day and my mom found these adorable pajamas.  They glow in the dark and have candy where the skeleton’s belly is. Kali loves going on walks in the neighborhood so I took her around while she was wearing her pajamas.   She wanted to “scare all the neighbors”.  When a car or person would come by, she would “roar” at them.  They were scared, clearly.

We also went to Trader Joe’s!  My mom had never been so we went and Kali found a little kids cart.  She was very proud of herself.  Now that is the only store my parents can go when Kali is with them because she LOVES to push the cart. 

Have a great weekend!  My 2nd 10K is coming up next weekend.  Has anyone signed up for any races?

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

All The Ways the Walking Dead Freaked Me Out In Regular Life

I have started binge watching The Walking Dead on Netflix.  I know, I know, I always said I would never watch a show about zombies because well, they scare me, but I can't say that any longer.  I am obsessed with it and all I can think about is zombies, zombies, zombies.

I am only on Season 4, 2nd episode but that show gets in your head!  I came up with this list last night on the way home from work.  I'm telling's ALL I can think about.  I stay up late into the night saying "Just one more episode" and then someone dies or get attacked and you watch another one.  It's a vicious cycle.

A new season starts in October and I have no doubt I will finish before then.  I have to talk myself out of reading the Wikipedia page about the show and it's characters every day.

All the ways the Walking Dead freaked me out in regular life.

Here are some things I think about ALL DAY long because of the Walking Dead:

-You see someone limping at the store and you watch them closely to make sure they aren’t a Walker pushing a cart.  You are relieved to find out they just have a bad hip.  You never thought you would smile at the thought of someone ‘just’ having a bad hip, but you do. #nowalkersatTraderJoes

-Someone yawns near you and you cringe thinking they are coming in for the bite but you realize they are just tired…like you from all the binge watching of the Walking Dead that you do all night when you should be sleeping.

-You pass a group of runners and think it is a “Herd of Walkers” but then notice the sweat dripping down their faces and the running attire they have on.  You’re safe for now.  You mentally congratulate them on their tempo.

-You see cars entering freeway at high rates of speed and you think it is another survivor group trying to jack all of your supplies.  Then you remember you are on the freeway and you are going just as fast. Your pulse returns to its normal, resting state.

-You walk outside and you look both ways, listening for the sounds of walkers.  Then you realize that it is just a TV show and there are no Walkers.  As you walk to your car you look behind you every few seconds…just to be on the safe side of course.

-You pass building and think about how they can be used for shelter and scavenging for supplies if need be.  You know those desks in that office building have Skittles and other snacks in them; you make a mental note of the location ‘just in case’.  You mentally skip some buildings because they have too much glass and are easily broken into by walkers.  That would not make a safe, fortified location.  You wonder how far you are from a prison.

-You hear “Breaking News” on the news and think ‘This is it, this is the announcement from the CDC’ and think how you should have made your emergency pack already.  Then you continue watching the news and see the “breaking news” is just a Listeria outbreak at Blue Bell.  #getittogetherBlueBell  You mentally put the emergency pack  back on your to-do list.  You are too busy to do that of course because you are only on Season 4 of your binge watching and don’t have time to make an emergency pack.

-You see an image of Santa Clause and think of wise old Hershel.

-Someone is coughing around you and your first instinct is to tell them to go to Cell Block A (solitary confinement) with the other flu victims of the prison.  Then you realize that it might be just a cough and not the flu that killed so many of the group.  You then go get a flu shot and stock up on antibiotics at CVS, just to be sure.

-You only eat half of your sandwich at lunch and you think about throwing it away.  You realize Karma is a B and this moment just might flash before your eyes when you are on the road scavenging for food while Walkers wait to eat you once you go outside.  You save the sandwich for lunch the next day. #dontwastefood

-You wonder weird thoughts like ‘If Edward Cullen bites a Walker, would the Walker now become immortal?  They do have lots of blood that would attract vampires’ and then you realize you shouldn’t combine two genres because that would REALLY make you seem crazy.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Off to the Zoo We Go

My plan was to hang out around the house and do some cleaning and exercising all day on Saturday but that all changed when my sister called to see I wanted to do anything that day.  I drive A LOT, like a lot, a lot.  I drive two hours a day to get to work and back plus any other things I need to do.  My poor car needs a break!  I knew I had a race on Sunday in Kemah so I wasn't planning on going anywhere.  When my sister called I knew I would have to drive to Spring to pick them up, drive to wherever we were going, drive home, and then drive by back to my home that night.  For a brief minute I was about to say no, but then I remembered, say yes more and also that I love hanging out with my niece.

It was decided that we were going to the Zoo and we also invited our other sister, Laura, but she didn't want to go but my nephew Cole did.  After a long fight with traffic we finally made it to the zoo around 1:30 pm.  The entire way we were singing "The Wheels on the Bus", "ABC's", "If your Happy and You Know It", and "5 Little Monkeys".  We made up our own lyrics to "If you are happy and you know it" to include "if you're happy and you know it poot in your seat".  What is it with kids and poop talk?  LOL.  

We saw the monkey area first and then made our way around the entire park. We made it to the giraffe section!

I think Cole was most excited about the Bald Eagle.  

I'm not sure what section this was, but it was in a fabulously air-conditioned building that I wanted to stay in ALL DAY.

After went to the petting zoo and rode the carousel it was time for FLAMINGOS!!  

The kids were getting sleepy but we had promised to take them on the paddle boats.  Cole rode in the front with me while Kali and Tori rode in the back.  Kali was not happy for a little bit but about halfway through we let her climb in the front and sit between us. I let them both "steer" the boat as I peddled.  They felt accomplished.
Kali Claire NOT happy. :)
We went through the water fountain a few times and got soaking wet!  As we were walking back to the car I asked each of them what their favorite part of the day was, it was the water fall!  At first neither of them liked it (even though it was their idea) but then they were begging me to drive back through there.  I was laughing a lot too.  I felt like the lady in the "Help me Janice" Youtube video that keeps laughing at the kid on the bungee ride.

I told the kids we could get ice cream but htey had to stay awake.  They insisted that they could stay awake the entire time but Kali fell asleep within 5 minutes of driving.  I said "No ice cream for sleepers!" and she woke up really fast.  It was really funny. She eventually fell asleep and we couldn't wake her up.  I owe her an ice cream cone, I guess!  

We went to Cloud 10 Creamery in Rice Village because we couldn't find a closer place.  Cole kept saying "I want sprinkles on mine" the entire way but when we got there they didn't have sprinkles. :/  The look on his face must have been so sad because the ice cream guy said "You're breaking my heart little buddy".  LOL. I guess I will need to start carrying around sprinkles with me.  

OTW home Cole fell asleep too.  We wore them out just as much as they wore us out!  #adulting

It was a fun day and I'm so glad that I was able to spend the day with two out of three of my favorite kiddos!  

Monday, September 19, 2016

Toughest 10K Kemah Round 3

On Sunday we completed the 1st of 3 races as part of the Texas Bridge Series, Toughest 10 Kemah.  The two remaining are One Tough 10K-Galveston (October) and the LaPorte by the Bay Half Marathon (November).

I had planned on getting there early to have a stress free morning, but as usual, "Planned" flew out the usual.  Plan:  Wake up at 4:30 and leave by 5 AM.  Reality:  Work up at 4:45 and played on Instagram and FB til 5:15 and then ran around like a crazy person to leave at 5:45.

I had stayed at my parents house in Spring the night before because I got to hang with Kali and Cole for a little while and I was too tired to drive anywhere.  Those kids wear you out!  So I had to drive from Spring allllllll the way to Kemah and I was freaking out a bit over getting there in time.

I stopped at Starbucks for a drink and oatmeal, because, Starbucks, and that put me even later behind schedule.  There wasn't any traffic until I hit the Kemah Bridge but it moved quickly and I made it to the starting line with about 15 minutes to spare.

On the way I found this neat little wooden maze called The Lighthouse Maze.  Totally added it to my bucket list.

I met my aunt, Laura, at the starting line and we started the race together.  I kept running when she started walking but I thought she kept running.  I knew I was going to do a walk/run combo the entire race but it was so hot I did a lot more walking.  Sometimes I felt my heart working overtime and I didn't want to push myself.

But, let's be honest...I wasn't in the best shape and could have trained way more than I did.  Actually, I hardly trained at all.  It was a huge wake-up call for my next race and the half marathon in November.  My feet feel great, hallelujah (!!), so I know I can keep training and get stronger. If you didn't know, one of the reasons I stopped running (besides marathon training burnout) was because I hurt my foot training and that hasn't quite healed.  My new shoes have helped tremendously though so I feel confident to keep going.  This race was sort of a test to see how it affect my feet. Now I know that I just have to get my booty out there and actually do it.

I made friends throughout the race and finished at 1:42.18, which is my slowest time by 31 minutes (PR set in 2012 when I was training for my marathon).  I got in the food line and got a strawberry popsicle and waited for Laura to finish.  I had seen her going down the other side of the bridge (3rd hill) while I was coming up my (4th bridge) final hill and knew she wouldn't be too far behind me.  She finished at 1:51:28.

Afterwards we went to Crazy Alan's Swamp Shack for lunch and drinks before heading home.  As you can imagine there isn't much plant based at a seafood place called the Swamp Shack, but I had a delicious meal of side veggies!

It was a great and even though I am slightly dreading the next two of the series, I am excited about the medals and calorie burning!  Ha!  I have a cruise in November after all! :)

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Jabba's 2nd Angel Birthday

Today is Jabba's 2nd Angel Birthday!  He has been in Heaven acting as a fluffy angel for two years now and seeing my favorite pictures still gets to me.

I know I need to let it go, and for the most part I have, but there are times I miss him so much.  I see something that reminds me of him like this little orange and white cat coin purse I saw at the store the other day.  I actually teared up because the cat on the coin purse look just like him with his little white nose.  I almost bought it but then I decided I might tear up every time I saw it and I don't want that.

Or sometimes I find a computer file that pertains to him or a picture tucked away in a drawer that I didn't expect to see at that moment.  It's the times when I am not expecting to see something of his that is the hardest.

Some days when I see something I want to see a picture.  My niece had on the 4th of July glasses Jabba is wearing in the photo above and I told her those were Jabba's.  She didn't understand because, obviously, the everything in the world is her's, but I knew they were at one time his.  I searched for about 20 minutes until I found that picture to show her.  Really, it was to show myself that I am OK to see his picture sometimes and it's OK to seek pictures of him sometimes.

One day I will get another cat and he will have a place in my heart.  Today though, my heart is not ready for another one and I need someone to help me share the love first.  I need a spouse to love and then we can add babies and pets.

Happy Birthday, Baby Boy!  Go float on a cloud today and eat some (calorie-free) catnip treats!!!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

The Snooze Button Is From The Devil

I listen to a daily call about MK called the Million $ Message.  The call is from 5 different people, each calling in one day a week to change the message on their specific day.  On Tuesday I heard from a director named Amber that “the snooze button was from the devil” and that we should never hit snooze.  I also heard the concept the same sort of concept from the book, the Miracle Morning.

The reason they say this because you are committing to yourself every night to get up at a specific time, but then you hit snooze, effectively starting off your morning not honoring your word from the night before, and losing integrity with yourself.  You say you want to be a person of excellence, yet you can’t even have the self-discipline to get up when you said you were going to.  If you start off this way, then you entire day might be the same way.

The Miracle Morning explains the snooze button as delaying your life, 10 minutes at a time.  You only get one life, but you choose to hit snooze (at least) 10 minutes a day.  You say you need more time, but yet the snooze button is more important than your goals.

I just love this concept!  Getting up at 4 am is so hard, but staying in the same place I am is so much harder.  I am yearning for “something more” in my life.  Don’t get me wrong, I have it pretty good, but I just feel like I am not doing what God has called me to do.  It’s time to change that.

Even when I got up at 4 am today, I struggled.  I am SO hoping that it will get much easier as I get used to the earlier bed time and earlier wake time, but for now I have to accept that I have to overcome my “tired” thoughts.   I have found it helpful to me if I say “I’m awake, I’m awake, I’m awake” when I first hear my alarm clock.  I also talk myself through the next steps of my morning routine.  Put the workout clothes on, put my shoes on, gather my things, go to the car, start driving, etc.  If I say “just do the next thing” and then the next thing, I find myself getting to where I need to be on time.

This morning I did that.  I stayed at my aunt’s new house that is 30 minutes extra drive for me.  That is hard because I already drive an hour (in traffic, 30 minutes otherwise) to work and didn’t “want to” drive further.  I made a commitment though and I stuck to it.  I got my clothes, packed my car and got on the road.  The ENTIRE time I had to talk myself into the next task.    I went back and forth on the drive talking myself into and out of a workout run. 

This is my head conversation this morning:  “I will just go, park and take an extra hour nap and then go get dressed,”  “No, if I work out I get to add four stickers to my chart” (I get a sticker for each mile or 30 minutes of workouts if I’m not running). The stickers made me want to run but then I would have the same nap conversation and started over.  I tried to distract myself in between.  The thing is, once I am on the walk/run, I feel great, the trick is just getting me there.

So I did 3.5 miles today and got four stickers.  I say four stickers because I did 3.5 miles on Monday and only gave myself 3 stickers, so I added the two .5’s for a fourth.  #smallthings  I am not sure why adding stickers to my chart (given to me at my TOPS meeting) helps motivate me so much, maybe it’s just a throwback to my childhood.  IDK, but it works so I am sticking to it.

Hopefully you can bring yourself to have your own MiracleMorning-----seriously, go buy that book.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016


I am working on a new habit...getting up early and working out.  I drive an hour each way to work every day and it is HOT when I get off.  I have been feeling sorry for myself that I can't work out because of "time", but in reality, I can workout whenever.  I choose how I spend my time, I just haven't been choosing wisely.

I am focusing on keeping my schedule open at night so I am free to do other things.  That means I have to work out in the early morning.  That also means that I have to get up at 4:30 AM to have time to travel to the park, workout and shower before work. OUCH!  It is so hard waking up that early, but I am determined to start a new habit so that I can control my time in the evenings.

There is a shower at work so I leave by 5 AM, get to the park at 5:30 AM (ish) to workout and still have time to get a shower.  The good thing about leaving that early is that the traffic is very minimal and I get a great parking space on the bottom level of the parking garage.  Hooray!

This morning I got up and left on time but I got to the park and realized I forgot my work shoes.  My lime green running shoes were not going to work with my outfit today so I went to the only store that was open that early to buy shoes...Wal-Mart.  I actually really like them though and they are comfortable so far.  I don't care where I shop as long as they are comfy!

Anyway, I got to work and realized that I forgot my bra.  :/  #failnumber2oftheday  Well, since I didn't have time to workout due to my Wal-Mart shopping spree, my sports bra would have to work. Luckily I am wearing black so it didn't matter!

Mary Kay Cleansing Cloths great for sweaty workouts!

The main point I was going to make after that long story was how much I love my new facial cleansing cloths that I used today.  Normally I have to use a cleanser and a washcloth, but these are in one!  They foam up really nicely so I feel like I am really clean, which is especially important after a long, sweaty workout.  Love them!  You can buy them here if you are in need of cleansing cloths.

They are simple to use and can be taken anywhere, all you need is water.  Sometimes I can't wash my face right away after a workout because of a commute home in traffic or I have to run errands.  My face gets so dry and sometimes broken out after working out because of all of the sweat. Gross!  These cloths help because I can throw some water on them from my water bottle and cleanse my face and then just rinse it off.  Super simple.

I'm not trying to sell you anything, but I love sharing new tools that I find!  I have had these for a while but never got around to using them.  My aunt uses them for after she goes diving in Roatan.  All of that salty sea water is not good for your face.  Now I love them and they will be a permanent staple in my gym bag!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Chandelier Bird Feeder

At the river house there is an old brass chandelier that has been hanging in the tree for a while now.  The grandkids decided one day that they wanted to hang it in the tree, so they did and it has been there ever since.

Well,  I wanted to make a craft project out of it.  I got permission before we went (my phone doesn’t work up there) and got all the supplies that I needed.  I decided to make it into a bird feeder using some plastic plates. 

I went to Wal-Mart to buy supplies thinking that I would buy purple spray paint, but when I got there the blue caught my eye.  I still wanted to add purple (axe ‘em jacks), so I got that color for the plates.  I couldn’t find plates small enough, so I went with ash trays! 

 I put gray primer first and then spray painted the chandelier.

And the ash trays.

I added Gorilla Glue to hold them in place.

Finished product!!

Monday, August 15, 2016

Memory Filled River Trip with Family

This weekend my family took a trip up to the river house in Concan, TX for a relaxing long weekend.  Concan is between 4-5 hours from Houston so we left at 4:30 AM on Friday to get out of Houston before the traffic hit.  When I was little we used to go to GarnerState Park every year for vacation and I have so many fond memories of that place. 

My grandma’s (Maw-Maw) memory is fading so we wanted to bring the entire family up for the weekend to have (at least) one last family trip there.  We were trying to plan it to where everyone could go, but it turns out that only my uncle could go and the rest of the kids (3) were no able to attend with their family.  The attendees were me, Maw-Maw, Paw-Paw, Laura (my sister), her kids Hunter and Cole, my Uncle Wendall and his wife Rhonda, plus their two kids, Tiffany and Emily.   

We all played in the river (or floated) all day on Friday.  I even fell asleep in my float for a little bit.  I heart the Frio River!  On Saturday the plan was to go to Garner State Park early to hike and see the old stompin’ grounds, but apparently the park limits the number of outsiders on the weekends and cuts off entrance to the park at around 10 AM.   

Since we couldn’t get in to the park we just played on our side of the river with the rope swing.  The house/cabin is situated on about 5 acres that are right on  the river when you go down a hill.  We use the “Stairs of Death” because they are directly behind the house but there are a two other sets that can be used too.  I just prefer the stairs of death, which are so death defying anymore like they used to be.  The kids like to use the name because they are hard to get down but have improved very much since in the last few years.

Maw-Maw and Paw-Paw couldn’t get down the stairs (any set) so they just hung out on the deck.  I love this view!  I stayed out here for a while reading my book and spying on the turtles sunbathing in the river.  EVERY time I have gone up there with the intention of sleeping on this deck, under the stars (bucket list item) the rain has stopped my plans.  :/  Usually you look up and you see millions of stars, but it was so cloudy that I decided not to try and sleep outside (with bug spray).  

I love this story!  On Saturday evening, my uncle took my grandparents to the State Park-you can get in after 6 PM-to see if my Maw-Maw would remember anything.  As they were driving through, she would say “Oh, look at that” or “that has changed”.  When they got close to their old campground that they always reserved, she said “There’s the two boulders and camp ground 105”.  My uncle, aunt, and grandpa all didn’t remember the campground number, but my grandma with Alzheimer’s did. 

They got out of the car (no one was staying at the campground) and Maw-Maw looked down on the grass and saw a heart rock.  Maw-Maw collects heart rocks each time we go to the river the grandkids look for her a heart rock.  This one was a perfect heart. 

She also looked up and saw a poke salad plant.  Maw-Maw grew up in East Texas during the Depression and Poke Salad was a big deal.  She gets SO EXCITED every time she sees it.  I once had to smuggle it out of a park in a backpack in PA because she couldn't leave without it. LOL.  You can make it with eggs, kind of like spinach.  

Anyway, for her to find it at her favorite campground, plus a heart rock, was a big deal.  God was smiling down on this trip.  I don’t believe that is a coincidence.  My uncle was very happy in that moment.  This might be the last time they travel up there and the whole family has awesome memories of that place.  I’m glad I was part of this trip!

We left after breakfast on Sunday and got home late because of traffic and rain (plus 2 stops). I had a ton of fun on the trip!  Great memories.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

20 Pounds Gone

I weighed myself yesterday and I have officially lost 20 pounds!!!!!  20 pounds in 4 ½ months!!!!!  My Whole Foods, Plant Based diet started on August 1st and I weighed myself periodically and hit the 20 pound weight loss as of today! 

Honestly, I haven’t even been trying to lose weight.  I haven’t worked out more than 10 times in the entire four months. I know, I should do more workouts and with the start of my half marathon/10K training, I am hoping to lose more.  I need to stick to my half marathon training plan.

I think an average of five (ish) pounds per month isn’t too bad; it’s a little over one pound per week.  I have a cruise coming up over Thanksgiving so I am hoping to lose AT LEAST 20 more pounds, but my goal is 40!  That is 2.66 pounds per week to lose my 40 pound weight loss goal.  I can do it!!

 My goal is to not drink my calories.  I think that is a big hurdle.  I have gotten used to iced coffee, iced tea and soda and it needs to stop!  I mean, look at this chart!

Wish me luck on my journey!  It isn’t too late to sign up for our racing events in September, October and November with the Texas Bridge Series.