Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Me at the PNW Blogger Spring Meetup

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So I survived another blogger social networking event. You haven't been reading this blog long if you don't think that's a big deal.
bloggers socializing... effortlessly
I really think I did a lot better this time with my socializing (although that doesn't mean there weren't times when I found myself standing alone, checking twitter because I had no one to talk to). It was so fun getting to see Meghan and Kendra again, whom I met at the last meetup. I think it gave me a little bit of a confidence boost to actually know someone walking in. I met a ton more awesome ladies too, and I am super excited to keep in touch via twitter, our blogs (obviously), and future events like this. I was terrible at taking pictures, but I was good about handing out cards. I'm pretty sure I gave out twice as many cards as last time, which is a good thing. I think my goal for next time will be to bite the bullet and actually ask those virtual strangers to be photographed with me. I love seeing the pictures other people have posted, so it is beyond me why I didn't ask anyone to pose with me in some pictures of my own. Social anxiety and insecurity, I guess. But I'm getting better!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Road Trip: Blogger Meetup Time!

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Remember last fall when I made my debut as a bona fide blogger at the PNW Blogger Holiday Party? Well it's time for another meetup, and this time we're headed to Seattle! I'm still a little nervous, but not so much as last time around. I'm really excited to see some of the bloggers I met at the last meetup. Hopefully, I'll meet a lot of new (to me) bloggers too.  And maybe this time I won't humiliate myself at any point or break anything... We leave tomorrow!

Are you heading to the meetup? I'd love to meet you! And if you won't be there, have you ever been to an event like this? Would you want to? 
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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

PRO Compression Marathon Sock Review and Giveaway (closed)

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You may remember this post where I first told you about my new-found love for PRO Compression Marathon Socks. Well I contacted them about this addiction, and they offered to send me another pair for review. Are you kidding me? Best. Company. Ever.
PRO Compression Marathon Sock Review
I know you're jealous of my beefy calves

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

My To-Do List Has Me Overwhelmed

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I've been motivated lately to be more productive and more organized. In trying to accomplish both things, I've been making more to-do lists. There are blog posts to write and schedule, sewing projects to complete, videos to film and edit, rooms to clean, laundry to wash... you get the idea.

It's not that making the to-do list puts more pressure on me to do things, or creates more work. It's just... Writing down the things I mean to do reminds me of all the other things I mean to do. So I write those things down, and then those things remind me of others... and so on. Once I start thinking of the amount of work I need to do as a whole, it overwhelms and pretty much paralyzes me from any form of productivity (unless you count checking Twitter as being productive).

I've used lots of different strategies in the past to get through (or over) this hurdle. Using a timer, setting deadlines, focusing only on the most important tasks. In the end, it just comes down to this: Pick something and do it. Repeat.

So that's my plan for the rest of the day. What's on your to-do list? Or what is your favorite way to procrastinate? (I'd love to use "reading comments on this post" as an excuse to take another break from my work!)

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Friday, April 19, 2013

eMeals: Meal Planning for Busy Families

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I was recently accepted as an eMeals Blogger. I'll be honest, I didn't know much about them beforehand, but I'm super excited for what I've experienced so far.

eMeals gives you a new week's worth of meal plans every Wednesday. You get the recipes along with a shopping list and estimated cost of groceries.

Last night I downloaded the app. If you've been following this blog very long, you know I love my apps. I do pretty much everything from my phone, so this is perfect.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Have I Done Any Good?

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The other day, a Twitter friend took the time to go back through old pictures I'd posted and comment on them. She asked questions and showed a sincere interest in what I had put out there. We were laughing (or at least typing LOL, I guess I can't say for sure that she was laughing too... ahaha) and making jokes. And it lifted me. You know it's not like I post super serious, super sentimental pictures on twitter (or you do if you follow me), but it still made me feel cared about - the way you should feel in any healthy relationship (friendship). And it made me realize how lonely I let myself become sometimes. Loneliness for me is longing for those interactions, for the attention and the back and forth, the give and take. This seemingly meaningless exchange over Twitter had the power to abate that loneliness for a time well beyond the actual conversation. 

There's sort of a stupid and simple concept here. (Stupid because it is so simple.) Be friendly. A woman I knew once said that a compliment not spoken is the same as an insult. That was her philosophy with her own actions, at least, and it was great. If she liked your shoes, your headband, a point you made in a discussion, whatever - she did not keep it to herself. She made a point to share good thoughts. People definitely appreciate it, whether or not they ever tell you. So, don't keep those positive thoughts to yourself. It's not always obvious who needs lifting or how you might lift them with a single comment.

What have you done or what has been done for you lately that has been uplifting?

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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

I run: I am a runner

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I had this post written well before the bombing yesterday at the Boston marathon. It seemed fitting to post it today as runners unite in solidarity. A marathoner puts mind over body and endures to the end against seemingly impossible odds. We should all try to model ourselves in that way as we attempt to overcome this blow against society and humanity. Remember the stories of the first responders, the marathoners running to the hospital to donate blood, the good. That is our humanity at its finest. That is what buoys us above times like these.


When we moved back up here in the fall, and finally started going to church again, I met a woman who asked me where we lived. When she told me she lived nearby, I told her I run right past her house. She said "Oh, so you're a runner!" Embarrassed, and a little abashedly, I said, "No, not really." What defines a runner? What defines anyone, really? Why do we look to qualify ourselves?

If you run half a mile or a half marathon, you're a runner. Claim that title with pride! If you're the mother of one child, it makes you no less of a mother than the woman with 5. I think we can all agree on that (I hope). So why are we so embarrassed to assert other titles? I am a runner. I cannot even begin to imagine that my body will ever be capable of a 6 minute mile, but I run. I run because it makes me feel strong, it gives me clarity, peace, a feeling of freedom. I've run in the rain. I've run in the snow. I've run in perfect sunshine. I run, that's what makes me a runner.

What makes you feel like a runner? Or a writer? What is something you do that just makes you happy?


Here are a few great posts I've found already relating to the Boston Marathon Bombing:

I am a Runner, and My Heart is in Boston by Cori at Olive to Run
Sending Love to Boston by Lindsay at The Lean Green Bean
An interview with #RunChat founder on ABC Capricornia (Australia) by Kalle with David of Running Because I Can

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Friday, April 12, 2013

Beginning Month 2 on Shaklee 180™

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So this is the beginning of my second month as a Shaklee 180™ blogger. Time for a real update, right? Let's jump right in:

Here are my original numbers from Day 1:

Weight: 170lbs
Bust: 41"
Waist: 36"
Hips: 43"
Arms: left: 14"
           right: 14"

And here are my numbers today: 

Weight: 162
Bust: 38"
Waist: 35"
Hips: 41"
Arms: left: 13.5"
          right: 13.5"

To recap - that means I'm down 8lbs and 7". My overall BMI has gone from 29.2 to 27.8. Not bad for just one month, I think. 

I'll be honest, though. I've sort of been avoiding this post. These past couple weeks have been hard on me (for reasons unrelated to my weight-loss). That penchant for emotional eating I was telling you about in my first post about Shaklee? We were most certainly butting heads. I'm fortunate enough to say that two weeks of emotional eating didn't make me gain any weight, but it certainly didn't help me lose any.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

I Need Swim Lessons

I'm not the greatest swimmer out there, but I can keep afloat. In fact, when I was 12, I actually became a PADI certified SCUBA diver. I never gave much thought to how I learned to swim. We were always around it. And in the summer, for more than a couple years, my brother and I went to the aquatic center nearby for swim lessons. I guess I assumed my kids would learn to be comfortable and wary of the water the same way I had. Spend time at the ocean, the rivers, the lakes, and whatever pool we are lucky enough to find ourselves at.

Now we're inching closer to another summer, and I'm finding I have more than a little anxiety about the water. Last summer, G had a couple traumatic experiences, and I'm not being over dramatic with my words here.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Omron Strapless HRM

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A few weeks back, I posed a question to the fitness bloggers on Twitter. What is your favorite heart rate monitor (HRM) and why? I didn't get a whole lot of response, but a few days later, Omron Fitness contacted me. They were offering to send me their latest and greatest HRM to try out.
The Omron HR-500U is a strapless, continuous heart rate monitor. This means: no annoying chest strap. And unlike most strapless HRMs you may have seen, you're not touching your fingers to it every so often to check your heartrate - it really is continuous. Awesome. 

Getting the right fit so the monitor is linking up with your heart rate can be a little tricky at first, but once you've got it, it's very reliable. With my old monitor, I'd often get distracted during a run by the obnoxious beeping that alerted me I no longer had a heart beat... or that my chest strap was no longer properly fitted on me. It makes for a pretty inaccurate portrayal of your workout when your HRM assumes you have no heartbeat. With the 500U, you don't have that headache. At least, I haven't so far. And it's super easy to use. I love the 4 LED lights showing which heart rate zone you're in. Green = good. Red = slow down. Blue = speed up. Okay, there's more to it than just that, but that's what it equates to for me when I'm out on a run.     I love that I can keep track of my heartzone even when I'm watching the time, calories burned, or even my pace. 

If you're interested in checking out what else Omron has to offer, they just announced a new coupon code. Use FB2013 for 10% off through April 10 at midnight! 

Although I was given this product free of charge, each and every word and opinion is true and my own. 

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