January 30, 2016

Happiness Dairy #2

It's week two of my Happiness Diary! Every day I share:

1) A random photo of the day
Something I ate that was delicious
3) An event that happened or task I accomplished 
4) Something I was grateful for or that made me happy


 Saturday (1-23-16)
1) Photo: Loving me some FireBalls!
2) Brian and I went to a new restaurant with his parents and I had a salad burger which was basically a salad with a burger on top (no bun). It was interesting and I might have to add it to the dinner rotation. 
3) I am starting a new workout program called 'Ripped with HIIT'. I did the first workout today and it was great, my bum will totally be feeling it tomorrow!
4) I am grateful for the library and I take advantage of my membership on a regular basis (including borrowing the 'Ripped with HIIT' DVDs!).



1) Photo: On the way to the park for a winter walk.
2) Brian gave me his baguette from Panera and it was white carby deliciousness.
3) I did some much needed organization on my blog and am feeling a little lot better about it (though it can always be improved!)
4) Today I am grateful for my electric blanket. It's been working overtime today.


1) Photo: I didn't have a great photo in mind and these apples were in front of me so...
2)  I found leftover turkey from Thanksgiving in the freezer and while it didn't taste the best I'm happy I didn't completely forget spit it and let it go to waste. 
3) I completed a new arm workout and just know my arms will be screaming tomorrow. I love sore muscles!
4) I am grateful another Monday is in the books and I'm one day closer to retirement. :)


1) Photo: It was super icy at the dog park today but we still made it out!
2) Brian and I had taco salads for dinner today with lots of lettuce, turkey meat, black beans and avocado. So yum. 
3) I trained a coworker today and it went really well. This made me happy because I always slightly dread training people but afterwards it usually wasn't as bad also was expecting and sometimes is actually fun.
4) I am grateful for yoga and how it makes me feel so relaxed and limber.

1) Photo: It's the birthday girl. :) Zuzu is one year old today! Don't worry she is scheduled to be groomed soon.
2) I've been making cold seeped green tea and sprinkling in some Crystal Light for some sweetness each night so it is ready to drink in the morning. It's an interesting concoction but it tastes good and I'm glad to get some use out of the Crystal Light packets which have been sitting in the cupboards forever. 

3) I went grocery shopping after work to pick up some items for dinner. I realize I need to take charge of food plans and prep because if it were up to Brian we would eat Panera and Qdoba for every meal.
4) I am (reminding myself to be) grateful that Brian is so easy going and "go-with-the-flow" because it means I can pretty much do anything and he doesn't complain. That's good right?

1) Photo: I taped up some posters in my studio so I'd have something to look at other than a brown wall. Too bad they keep falling down...
2) I've been eating Yoplait Plenti yogurts for breakfast recently and I think I'm beginning to like my yogurt a little lumpy and chewy. (There are oats and seeds and etc. mixed in the yogurt.)
3) I accidentally did the wrong workout in my workout program yesterday but no big deal. (Even though ahh my arms!) I did the right one today so we're back on track.
4) I am grateful today is my Friday and I am very much looking forward to my day off tomorrow!
1) Photo: It was a beautiful, sunny day today and I walked Zuzu at a nice and forested park and then went to the dog park a few miles away for a double whammy of exercise. Needless to say she's exhausted!
2) I ate Airhead bites today and they are quickly becoming my favorite candy.
3) Brian and I went to the movies to see Star Wars. It was entertaining and I'd watch it at least one more time before I die.
4) I am grateful for sunny winter days. 


January 29, 2016

Love Bit #5 Newhouse Desk Lamp

Brian and I have recently lost a few desk lamps to the jaws of our small canine and about a month ago I finally got around to ordering a new one on Amazon. This lamp was originally going to be placed on my vanity but it has some useful functions so it is now on my bedside table.  While it's not the most decorative lamp, I like how it's relatively small and it doesn't look too out of place next to my bed. Someday I will switch it out for something prettier but for now it works. I bought the lamp for about $35 (now it's at $27!), it turns on by touch and has multiple brightness options.  I especially appreciate the USB charging port in the back because it allows me to use my phone in bed while it's being charged (my charging cable is so short so this was impossible before).  I also like the fact that you can remove the power cord so if Zuzu happens to chew through this cord I don't have to buy a whole new lamp.  While I don't necessarily LOVE this lamp like my other "love bits' I wanted to share it because it's been working perfect for me!

January 25, 2016

Mail Goodies: Nature Box + Review

I recently re-subscribed to NatureBox and received my box of snacks in the mail a few days ago. NatureBox is a subscription service that sends snacks to their clients at least every month. What I love about NatureBox is you get to choose the snacks you receive, you can choose how often you want to receive them and you can add on as many extra snacks to your order for just three dollars each. Not to mention some of the snacks are pretty tasty. 

The packaging: 

January 22, 2016

Happiness Diary #1

Welcome to my first Happiness Diary! 
Each day I will share:

1) Something I ate that was delicious
2) An event that happened or task I accomplished
3) Something I was grateful for or that made me happy

4) Random photo of the day

Saturday (1-16-16)

1) I loved eating my dried mango. It's the "Just Mango Slices" from Trader Joe's, the kind with no added sugar. Addictive.
2) I spent some time in my studio cleaning and painting and it was nice to finally spend some time there.
3) Taking Zuzu to the park made me happy today even though it was cold and everyone kept slipping on the ice! The walk tired Zuzu out and she slept the entire time Brian was gone to tennis.
4) Photo: Sleepy Zuzu on the couch

1) The cottage cheese from Costco I ate today was so creamy and salty and really hit the spot.
2) I'm proud that Brian and I went shopping for our weekly meal plan and actually have dinners to make this coming week!
3) I'm so grateful for days off to relax and recharge, get things done and have fun!
4) Photo: Getting ready for the day. (Don't mind my extremely cluttered vanity.)
1) I made homemade beef and broccoli for dinner tonight and it came out surprisingly well considering I forgot to buy sauce and just used random ingredients in our fridge and pantry to add some flavor.
2) Today I completed a ballet DVD I haven't done in forever. I was dreading it but in end it wasn't bad at all and makes me want to do ballet more often!
3) I'm grateful for a clean kitchen after a long day.
4) Photo: Puppy snuggles :)

1) I roasted veggies for part of our dinner tonight (onions, peppers, sweet potatoes) and they were so good!
2) I was able to spend a good amount of time today writing things for my blog which always makes me happy and fulfilled.
3) It's been single digits and slippery roads the past few days and I am grateful for the safety I feel in my Subaru. A four wheel drive vehicle is a must in Michigan, how did I ever go without?
4) Photo: Just completed a nice yoga workout. 

1) I ate a some taffy from my Candy Club box. Definitely my favorite thing I ate today.
2) I had my first day of training at a new facility at work. I'm happy I volunteered for this new responsibility and I'm also happy the first day is over.
 3) I was thankful I was able to sleep in an hour this morning since I didn't have to work until 8:00. Apparently I really needed the sleep as I didn't wake up until my alarm went off! 
4) Photo: The view from my new break room. 

1) The best thing I ate today was the granola bar I had at lunch. I buy these from Costco, they are only 100 calories each and perfectly satisfy my sweet tooth. 
  2) I accomplished another day of training. I think I made the most of my time, trying to learn as much as I can before I am my own!
3) I'm grateful for my brain. I'm not the smartest or quickest in the world but I know without my brain and my work ethic I wouldn't be as competent or as appreciated as I am at my job.
4) Photo: Pretty obvious. Unfortunately I forgot to take the picture before I ate the thing but no big deal.
1) Brian and I are going to try to have fish or seafood every Friday so today I grabbed some salmon on the way home from work and we baked it in the oven using a meat thermometer (best gift ever!) so it came out perfectly.
2) I made it to the weekend! That always seems like an accomplishment in and of itself.
3) I was super grateful for my vinyl gloves I usually use for handling meat. I have a cut on my finger so I wore one of these while taking a shower and no painful stinging!
4) Photo: The gloves

I loved writing in my happiness diary this week, it's been fun and keeps me mindful. It takes dedication to write every single day and I hope I can keep up with it. Maybe I should start a theme with the pictures so they are not so random looking? Suggestions? Everything is always a work in progress, including myself I suppose, but anyway thanks for checking out my week!

January 19, 2016

Me Update!

It's been a while since I have updated you on my health/fitness journey. Happy to say I'm back, although I am no longer writing "health diary" posts or posting progress pictures anymore. Even though I was trying to lose weight in a gentle manner I realized in my heart I was still placing too much importance on losing weight for my physical appearance and that type of thinking is just not conducive to my goal of living a healthy and happy life. I'm sure I will always have a desire to be healthy and challenge my fitness but I'm currently trying to remember to focus on more meaningful reasons behind my efforts such as wanting:

to feel energized, strong and capable
to stay flexible and free of aches and pains
to be better able to handle the occasional stresses and anxieties of life
(Just to name a few.)

I am still working on having a healthy positive body image. I want to accept how I am every single moment of every single day. I want to be at peace with who I am regardless of the number on the scale or the lines on my face.  One book that is helping me change my mindset when it comes to how I view myself is Body Image Remix by Summer Innanen. It's refreshing to hear someone speak about how you can be happy with yourself without feeling the need to change your body. Another positive body image coach I follow is Maddy Moon.  Maddy has a great blog and podcast and speaks about ways you can improve the relationship between yourself, food and your body. If you are interested in learning more, check them out!

So like I said, the health diaries are no more, but in their place I will be sharing happiness diary posts.  Each day I will write about things that made me particularly happy including:

One thing I ate that was delicious
One thing that happened or I accomplished that made me feel good
One thing I was grateful for or that made me happy
And just for fun, a random photo of the day (don't be surprised if they are all of Zuzu, haha)

I may edit the list as time goes on but for now I think it's a good start and I am really looking forward to thinking and writing about these things each day. I should have the first post up by Saturday!

January 18, 2016

Mail Goodies: Candy club

Where have you been all my life Candy Club? I'm am a HUGE candy lover and so I was very excited when one of the YouTubers I follow, Julie G, posted a video about the Candy Club, a subscription service that sends you two to three pounds of candy every month. Immediately after watching her video I placed an order for my first box. During the sign up process you are asked questions and based on your answers a candy package is chosen for you. The candy packages available are CLUB classics, CLUB favorites and CLUB Sours & More. I enjoy most candy but after watching YouTube videos of people opening up packages of sour belt candy and sour jelly beans I decided to join the Sours & More . After placing the order I was slightly regretful of my decision because, while I do love sour candy, SUUPeer sour candy (the kind that practically strips the taste buds off your tongue) is not my jam and I was concerned I would get stuck with something inedible. I decided to go for it despite my worries and eagerly awaited my first box.  


When it finally arrived (a few days later) the candy was packaged in a cute brown box labeled with the company's name. 

January 16, 2016

Day in the Life!

I thought I would take you along with me this lovely Saturday, a sort of "follow me around" post.  We will see how this goes!

I slept in today which was much needed and made it to the kitchen at around 8:00. 


January 15, 2016

Mail Goodies: Amazon

I am a bit of a online shop-a-holic and always enjoy getting packages in the mail (seriously, who doesn't?). I thought it would be fun to do a little show and tell each time I get something (no matter how random!) starting with these items I received from Amazon today.

1) Three pounds of Atomic FireBalls. I have a thing for buying bulk candy online though this is my first time purchasing these cinnamon candies in bulk. I LOVE FireBalls and I know I will eventually eat every single one of these.

2) A workout DVD from Kelly Coffey-Meyer called 30 Minutes to Fitness. I've never done any workouts by this trainer but this DVD was very highly reviewed and so I decided to give it a try. I did one of the workouts on the DVD today and it was decent. I usually determine whether or not I like a workout depending on how sore I am the next day so we will have to wait on the verdict for this one.

3) A Benebone Dental Chew. Zuzu has liked other chews from the same company and so I decided to give this rocking chew a try. It was bigger than I expected but she REALLY likes it and there are significant tooth marks on the four corners already.  Toys like these are great when she is in a feisty mood and trying to chew on everything.

January 12, 2016

Stair climbing!

One of the simplest ways for me to get in a little bit of extra movement in my day is climbing stairs on my breaks at work. The entire staircase (ten floors per my Fitbit) is 162 stairs and takes about five minutes including the walk to and from the staircase. I aim for two sets a day but on days I'm either feeling really motivated or I know I won't be doing an actual workout, I will do up to six sets. Climbing stairs is great for increasing my energy and also warms me up if I'm feeling chilly but it's not always easy to decide to climb those stairs. Sometimes I feel tired or sore and just want to head to the break room and enjoy a full break. Sometimes It seems like climbing or not climbing a few stairs doesn't really make a difference in how fit I am or how I look or feel. This is when I remind myself that every little thing I do for myself and my health is a positive thing. Every small change or healthy decision made is an accomplishment and something in which to be proud. Climbing these stairs increases my fitness level and even makes my usual workouts easier to do. It also makes me feel proud knowing that I've done something most people might not think about doing. I think I've just motivated myself for a sixer today. :)

Jessica Smith Answers MY question!

(Side note: I wrote this post on my family blog in 2013 and decided to transfer it over to my personal blog just to be a bit more organized)

One of my favorite fitness instructors is Jessica Smith of jessicasmithtv.com. I have three of her DVDs which I love working out with:

She also has a YouTube channel where she posts workout videos on a regular basis. Some of my favorites are the more intense ones (like this metabolic conditioning workout) but she also has easier stretching and walking videos that are also nice to do sometimes (a few she even does with her mom like this one here.). Jessica is active in the social networks and often asks for feedback and questions from her followers. The other day I submitted a question and she was nice enough to answer it in the "Ask Jessica" section on her website. If you ever wondered about muscle soreness and how to "stay safely and appropriately challenged" when working out, check out my question and her answer by clicking the image below. Check out her other fitness videos while you are at it, they are great and so convenient to play on my Ipad!

January 8, 2016

Currently I am:

In my warm robe and underneath my electric blanket which is under two more blankets and turning the pages of my Ebook with my nose because I don't want my hands in the "cold" air. Though I did take them out to write this post and take this picture. My blog is just that important to me. Ha.