Thursday, December 10, 2015

Oh Honey!

As I continue on this path of mine, finding all sorts of new ways to be healthier, do better and be better, I have tried many things.  I have had lots of attempts at making small changes to create big changes.

One of those changes was to switch out my regular, white granulated sugar for honey.  Honey is natural, sweet and much better for you than sugar.

But, it is such a mess!!  I have gotten honey all through my lunch bag because although the jar was closed, it still oozed out!!  I had to scrub and scrub that thing to get it to a point where everything was sticking haha.

Then, I heard about a pretty sweet (pun intended) product called Nektar Honey Crystals.  It is 100% natural and it is so simple and easy that it is almost too good to be true....but it IS true!! Yippee!

Seriously, folks! This is amazing.  The Nektar Honey Crystals obviously taste just like honey....because it is made with honey but they have the great ease of shaking out of the container or packets.  It has two ingredients: Natural Cane Sugar and Honey. That is it, no chemicals, no funky ingredients that you can't say nor spell.

The serving size is 1 tsp and in that serving, there are only 12 calories!  Yes, you read that right, 12!!

These easy to pour bottles are available now at Walmart, so you don't even have to go to a specialty store to find it!

Would you like to get a FREE bottle to try for yourself? Enter my giveaway to get your hands on a 6oz. bottle of Nektar Honey Crystals!

Giveaway entry methods: 
  • Visiting Nektar Naturals on Facebook*
  • Sharing the giveaway on Facebook and tagging Nektar Naturals
  • Following on Twitter (@nektar_naturals) and Instagram (@nektarnaturals)
  • Tweeting about the giveaway, tagging @nektar_naturals #beesweet #sweatpink @fitapproach
  • Using the store locator on Nektar Naturals’ website to find the closest store where Nektar Naturals is carried
  • Like my Page on Facebook here.
  • Follow me on Instagram here
  • Leave a comment on what you would use Nektar Honey Crystals for.
Giveaway restrictions:
  • U.S. only
  • One prize per person.  One prize per person. If you win this giveaway, and have already won another prize from Nektar Naturals through another blog, please disclose that you have already won so we can choose another winner.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Healthy Snacking After the Workout

It is such a trap.  That feeling you get after a workout when you are hungry and you know you need to refuel your body.  You just finished a workout and you know that you burned a bunch of calories.  You have a choice to make. What do you want to snack on?!

There are two paths you can take at this point. You can choose to grab a healthy snack or you can choose to grab that sugar-filled, unhealthy treat.  You just worked out, right?  So it is easy to think that you can just munch on that unhealthy treat because of all those burned calories.  No.  Don't do it!!

There are some great options when it comes to post workout snacks.  The list of snacks that can replenish the calories while refueling your body is long, you just have to know what some good choices are.

Here are some that work great when you finish that sweat session:

A banana.

Whole wheat bread or bagel with peanut butter


Sweet potato

Steel cut oatmeal

Greek yogurt

There are awesome resources out there to find the best post workout snacks.  I've found some good ones through these websites: where they have a large variety of healthy snacks that you can take anywhere.
Pinterest, is there anything that you can't find on there?!
Blogs, there are so many that I have found to be very resourceful while getting to know other great fitness and health nuts like myself. :)

What are your favorite go-to healthy snacks?  Do you tend to crave certain ones after your workouts?

Disclaimer: I was not prompted or compensated for this post, the links and sites are posted at my discretion and I did not have a script to follow. All opinions are my own. 

Monday, August 17, 2015

That Time Already

Every year around this time, we all say the same thing...."where has the summer gone?" 

The days fly by as we plug away at the daily grind with the best intentions of doing fun, fabulous things all summer long.  Then we don't actually do those things because time escaped us as we are filling our weekends with parties, picnics and yard work. 

It is sad.  I always want to do so many things every summer and yet again, here we are mid-August with that long list still sitting there with nothing checked off. Sad panda.

The kids have their schedules and teacher assignments already, we've gotten the bus schedule so we know what time to be standing out there waiting for the big yellow bus. School supplies have been purchased and soon enough, we will be taking those first day of school pictures of our kids all spiffed up and ready for another year.  

I can't decide if I am excited for school to be back in session or not.  Usually I am so ready for the routine to be back in place and for my grocery bill to go down. I don't feel excitement or dread, I guess I am just sort of rolling with the punches so it is what it is. 

I am hopeful for a great school year for all of my kids.  I hope Lincoln enjoys his new teacher, this will be his first time having a male teacher so it will be interesting to see how he responds to him because he is used to the caring, motherly type teachers. The older kids will be adjusting to their schedules and getting used to having a class together....that has never happened before! 

I love summer and I am still hoping to get a few fun things in before the weather turns to colder temps and pumpkin flavored everything. 

Sometimes I swear I need a rewind button on life.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Calling All Ladies Looking for Fun and Community

There are a few online communities that I belong to that I absolutely love. One of the reasons why is because they are for women and the main goal is to encourage, support and uplift each other.

That is also one reason why I was so excited to sign up for the Muddarella challenge run.  The core goal of this event is to:

leave everything else in the mud
“Own Your Strong” is about empowering women to take pride in their strength – inside and out.

You can check out what they are all about here.

I LOVE that.  The organization is the same one that puts out the Tough Mudder challenges.  However, this one is to help women, specifically, find their strong and exude their confidence in their abilities, no matter what those are.

I am really looking forward to spending the time with my friends, having fun, getting dirty and conquering the obstacles before us.

If you have an event that is local to you, I suggest you do it.  Find out what strength means to you.  I can bet that when you cross that finish line, you are going to feel pretty darn amazing.

I have been training for this challenge and I know that I am getting stronger in doing so.  That makes me so happy to know that my body is changing to allow me to do things that I couldn't do before.  What a great way to get healthier and share in this experience.

Do you want to do this challenge but are nervous?  Don't be!! I promise you that you CAN do it and it is within you to push yourself to achieve your goals!

I will be at the Pittsburgh event and I really hope to see some familiar faces (other than those on my team haha) so that I can see the confidence and strength of others around me.

The obstacles look like so much fun and a good challenge to test yourself and prove to yourself just how strong you really are.

You don't have to be a fitness guru to do this event, I certainly am not a guru.  Go on, check it out and sign up today! You won't be sorry!!

You can find the event locations here.

Friday, July 24, 2015


How do we get so caught up in life?  Time seems so fleeting at moments and when we take the time to stop and really think about what we are doing, I mean really reflect on what we are doing, it can either bring a smile to your face or a deep feeling of regret.

Over the past few years, I have been putting myself at the top of my priorities.  I have read so many times that we need to do that for our own health and well-being. I decided that I was important enough to be my main priority and the rest would fall into place.  I have been so busy finding myself and gaining control of my life again.  I have found out so much about myself and I have gotten stronger as a person.

What I didn't count on was the fact that I would lose focus on my other priorities.  I would say it all the time and I could write it down, but what the hell did that do?  Words are just that, words.  Yes, sometimes words are enough but when it comes to the main priorities in your life, words are not enough.

Life is about so much more.  We have our marriages, our children, our careers, our homes, etc.  There is so much to account for in our lives.  How in the world do we fit it all in and keep a smile on our faces?  It's tough.

I am guilty of not being able to balance it all. I got hit very hard with a dose of truth.  Truth that, honestly, rocked me to my core.  My priorities weren't what they should be.  At least not in action.  On paper, they were but not in my daily life.  I forgot to put others at the top of  my list.  I took for granted the things that mean so much to me. People and things that are the base of who I am.  How did that happen? I got caught up in finding myself and building myself up that I didn't make time to show others what they mean to be, or how important they are to me.  I hurt them.

I have been reading a lot of personal development books to try to come to terms with how I can better myself.  The one I am reading now is by Joel Osteen and there are so many paragraphs and passages that have spoken to me.  I have been highlighting like crazy and in the midst of all of that, I am learning.  I was reading about how if someone is with you but not for you, maybe they shouldn't be in your life.  Meaning, if they are not helping you, encouraging you, or by your side; maybe  you should cast them aside and move on.  I took that as if it were speaking to me directly.  Then it hit me like a ton of bricks.  The same meaning goes for how I am with others.  If I am with them but not for them, they should cast me aside.  I don't want to be cast aside.  I want to be there.  I want to be for them, not just with them.

I know this seems sort of vague but if you know me and you know my priorities, you may be able to guess whom I am talking about.

Today is a new day.  Today I said, "I don't just need you, I want you." Now it's time for action.  It's a terrible feeling to hurt someone you love.  It's horrible to know that you caused them pain.

When I started reading personal development books, I expected to see how I needed to change my life to be more successful, to gain perspective of how others influence me and how I can move on.  I didn't expect to see it from a different perspective to see how I influence others and how they could move on, without me.

Life is such a bitch sometimes. The many twists and turns are not for the weak. In an instant, things can change and when they do, you have to think about what is truly important. What drives you, what makes you happy, what is your priority? The answers should come easy, and when they do come easy, so should expressing them.  Be of action, not just words.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Owning My Strong

I think everyone knows by now that I love a good challenge, that I enjoy running, being active and pushing myself to the limits to see if I can do it.  I have fun doing that.

So, when a friend posted on Facebook about the Muddarella run/challenge, it got me thinking.  It looked like a lot of fun.  It involved running, mud, obstacles and teamwork.  They stress that this is not a race, but a challenge where you can own your strong while having fun and teaming up with others to reach your goals.  Who wouldn't love all that?!

You can check out the details here  This is not one of those fun runs where you can just sign up and go and get it done.  They suggest training for this challenge as there are physical challenges, heck, you have to run about six miles to do the challenge!!  I love that their site even has a legit training plan and you can follow it to prepare for your big day! 

The obstacles look fun and I can see how having your friends by your side would make it that much more fun.  I will be doing it with a group of ladies from the gym and I couldn't be more excited.

I really like looking at the obstacles and trying to figure out just how much I might struggle with them.

The local one that I am doing is in September so I have some time to make sure that I am physically ready for it.

I am hoping to have even more friends sign up to do it too.

I will leave you with more awesome that the creators of Muddarella are featuring, stories of strength as women share their stories of how they own their strong.

Disclaimer: I did not receive monetary compensation for this post.  All opinions and expressions are my own, I was not scripted for this post. 

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Race Recap: 2015 Pittsburgh Half Marathon

I did it!  I reached my goal of running my first Pittsburgh Half Marathon and earning the title of "Runner of Steel."  This is a goal that I have had for a very long time. I spent years wanting to be one of those runners.  I wanted to run those 13.1 miles all over the city.

I was very intimidated by the course though, I had always heard about how tough it was and all the hills along the course.   I decided that in order for me to prepare for the course, I was going to incorporate strength training and cross training into my training. I have to say, that it worked!

I went in to the half with a plan.  I had tried out intervals of running/walking to figure out what timing I wanted to go with so that I could keep a steady pace.  I have done intervals before for a half marathon but the timing wasn't quite right and I wanted to make sure that I got it right this time.  I decided on a 4:1 interval.  Four minutes of running and 1 minute of walking....the entire course.

Okay, so training was done, a plan was in place and I was ready to go!

The process of getting into the corrals and waiting for the race to start is almost torture.  You are mentally getting ready and the anticipation is rising.  You just want to get going.  There are thousands and thousands of people all around, there are helicopters flying overhead and again, the anticipation is rising.  This is when most people are hoping that they don't have to go to the bathroom from all of the anxiety.  It is something that most runners experience and some people don't tell you about that haha.

The race is getting started.  My excitement is building as I am frantically messaging with another runner that is farther up in the corral.  We are supposed to run the intervals together but I've never met her and I have no idea how I am going to find her.  We were messaging back and forth for a few minutes as my corral was walking toward the start line.  She stops near an Arby's to wait for me.  Thank goodness, I didn't really want to run alone.  We are walking in the sea of people all there for a common goal.  Rock this race course.

And we are off!!  We are trying to jog/run but it is kind of hard when there are so many people.  I found that to be the hardest part for me.  I wanted to speed up and go but we really couldn't.  I asked her around mile 1-2 if and when the crowd thins out and we can move...she said, "never."  Oh. I was sort of frustrated because even though my goal was to simply finish the race, I had a time goal in the back of my mind.  I really wanted to finish around the 2:20-2:30 mark but it wasn't happening, not at the pace we were going.  It was then that I decided that I need to stop looking at my watch.  I needed to stop being fixating on the pace.  My second goal was to enjoy the run and take in the surroundings.  I did that.  I am so very happy I did that.

I was loving the run, I was loving the surroundings and I just kept saying how much I love the intervals we were running.  It was perfect.  The weather was great, the crowd was great and I couldn't have asked for a better run.

My parents were there to see me run and they said that they would be somewhere between PNC Park and Heinz Field....well okay then.  Amazingly, I found them and was able to give my mom a hug and high five my dad. I love that they were there to support me.  It really helps me keep going.

Okay, back to the run.  As the race went on, I actually was feeling better and better.  I was getting into the rhythm of what we were running, the hills weren't strenuous and the scenery was amazing.  I was really enjoying the run. My running buddy and I were able to talk about our families, our running history and all sorts of things. It's funny that I met up with her minutes before starting and we ran together for over two hours.

As we kept going, the temperature was rising, which was one of my concerns.  I hate running and being overheated so I said a little prayer that I would finish before it got too hot.

We were approaching the part of the course where the runners split.  The half marathoners go to the left and the full marathoners go to the right.  At this point, I was getting excited because I knew that my race was almost over and I was getting so close to saying that I finished!

I had some final hills to tackle and then it was all downhill to the finish.  I sped up a bit at that point because the crowd was very thinned out and I had the open road ahead.  I could see the finish line!!  I continued on at a steady pace and ditched the intervals and decided that I could run the rest of the way.  It felt so good to cross that finish line and be done!  I felt great, no soreness, no pain at all.  Thank goodness!!

All in all, the experience was a wonderful one.  I was a bit surprised by how I felt because I almost felt as though it wasn't as much of a challenge as I thought it would be.  That means two things...I was very well prepared for it physically and that I most likely could have run at a faster pace.

I am already excited to run it again next year and I will run the same intervals but I think I will challenge myself to run faster and get a PR.  It is quite possible that if I continue training well and smart, I could get a much better time.  I finished in 2:39 and although that isn't a bad time, I know I can push myself to bring that down to 2:20.  That is my goal for next year!!

You can see my race photos here 
I love them all, too bad they are insanely expensive to buy!! :(

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Five Days

I am always nervous about a run.  It doesn't matter what the distance is or whether the course is easy or hard, I just get nervous.  I have run two half marathons in the last two years.  I am proud of that and I plan on doing more. 

The Pittsburgh Half Marathon is only five days away and I am so super nervous.  I am trying to remain as calm as possible and just trust that I will do well and I am going to enjoy the experience.  This is my first Pittsburgh Half Marathon.  Last year, I did the relay and when I was done and saw all the excitement and the finishers, I decided right then and there that I would do the half this year.  There was no hesitation at all.

So, here we are....five days out from the race.

I am nervous but I am also very excited.  I can't wait to see all the cheering crowds, the awesome bands and all the spectators.  The atmosphere of this race is amazing. The cheering is so awesome and it really does carry you through the course.

I cannot wait to reach that finish line and receive the finisher's medal. 

Friday, April 24, 2015

Get Your Smoothie On For a Dose of Protein

I am not a regular smoothie maker or drinker but when I do have them, I absolutely love them!  I love being able to throw everything in the blender and have this nutritious, tasty treat and it can replace a meal!  So easy for an on-the-go breakfast or snack.

Summer is coming which means that more fresh fruits will be available to throw in the smoothies.  There is one recipe that I go back to often because it is one of my favorites.

Strawberry, Banana Smoothie with Almond Butter

Now, my kids love smoothies too so this recipe is enough for several people....maybe four depending on how much the kids take. ;)

2 Cups Plain, Greek Yogurt
2 Medium Bananas
2 Cups Frozen Strawberries, unsweetened
2 Tbsp. Almond Butter

I make sure I cut the fruit up into smaller pieces just because it seems to blend up a little better and you don't have to keep scraping the sides of the cup.  Throw everything in there and blend away!  So simple, so yummy and so nutritious!

When having this particular smoothie, you will get approximately 6-7g. of protein from the almond butter.

There are other things that you can add to a smoothie to get a good source of protein.  Some of those things are: kale, cottage cheese, pumpkin seeds, oats and chia seeds.  I tend to stay away from adding anything into my smoothies that will add too much texture to it.  That is just my personal preference though.  I encourage everyone to dust off their blenders and make a smoothie today!  It is easy, fast and so delicious!

I'd love to see what you enjoy in your smoothies..go on #ShowUsYourSmoothie  If you would like to see what DailyBurn has to offer with their line of protein-packed products, you can visit their site here.

Disclaimer:  I did not receive monetary compensation for this post.  I was contacted to be a part of the #showusyoursmoothie project through DailyBurn.  I was not prompted or scripted for this post. 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Product Review: Canvas Print from Canvas Champ

If there is one thing I love to look at, it is photos.  I have always enjoyed looking at photos, whether I know the people or places in them or not.

What do I love even more?  Photos of my family together.  We, often times, don't all get our picture taken together and so when I had the opportunity to do a product review for Canvas Champ and receive a 10"x 8" canvas print, I said, "YES!"

The process was super simple. They just asked me which photo I would like to use and I sent it.  They took care of the rest.  Obviously, the process will be a bit different for anyone going on their site and ordering a canvas print.

Their site is so easy to navigate and their pricing is outstanding!!  I have seen the same products for well over what Canvas Champ is charging so that is a thumbs up to begin with.  I always love a good deal so when you put two of my favorite things together, you get my vote!

I quickly received my custom canvas print and I was in love.  Here was this picture that I already loved and it was on a canvas print and it was perfect!!

This is what I received:
A photo of my entire family all dressed up for a wedding. We were looking good and happy. Success!

The canvas is wrapped too so the piece is sturdy and isn't cheaply made.  I have seen some that are of lower quality and they fall apart. I feel confident that this will last a very long time.

The back of the print has the hanging hardware already attached and ready to go!!  I love the sticker that says it was "handmade with love"  such a nice touch. Also there is a sturdy frame with a board behind the canvas front so it is not flimsy at all. It is a really nice product.

Canvas Champ was an absolute pleasure to work with and I am so pleased with my new work of art to display my family photo.  I will definitely be heading to their site again to order more canvas prints to add to our walls.  I encourage everyone else to do the same.  Check out their products and their awesome pricing!

Disclaimer: I did not receive monetary compensation nor was I scripted for this review.  All photos, opinions and praises are my own. 

Friday, April 10, 2015

When Things Don't Go Exactly As Planned

We had plans that we thought were solid.  It came to our attention that those plans were never in place in the beginning, let alone now. 

In short, we thought that the house we are renting right now and have been renting for the past 5.75 years, was going to be sold and we were going to buy it.  The landlord kept stalling on selling and each time I asked about it, they gave a very short answer of no.  I had to finally ask if they were ever going to sell it and if so, if we can get some terms on paper.  She replied with the fact that she had no plans of selling and couldn't commit to selling. 

BOOM!!  That was the sound of my heart plummeting to the bottom of my gut.  For almost six years, we have been paying a large amount of money to live here which we were sort of fine with because we had the intention of buying this house and living here for years to come.  We had a list of upgrades we were going to make, what we wanted so desperately to get started doing, as soon as we knew that it would eventually be ours.  Our hopes, plans and optimism were crushed.  I didn't really know whether I wanted to scream, cry or throw things. 

The disappointment is paramount.  It may seem really silly to some who are thinking so why not just pack up and buy a different house?! Oh how I wish it were that easy.  Due to so many things that are totally our own fault, we are not in a position to buy a house.  We were really thinking that the rent to own option was our only option and that a portion of the money that we've been paying would help us to buy.  That is out so now we are changing our game plan and hoping for a solution that is feasible and won't cause us too much heartache.

We really do love where we live. We are close to everything, yet we have the privacy and space to do whatever we want.  It's not the fanciest house but we have made it our home and we will be sad to leave.

I'm still not sure what we will do.  Ideally, we would like to find a lease to own contract but that isn't very common in this area and we want to stay in the same school district and area.  That is the hard part.  We've talked about moving to a different area or even a different state but we do still want to stay in the area.

My point in all of this is.......we can no longer rely on others when we want to make plans.  We have to put our own plans together and go from there.  I am hoping that we are able to buy a house within the next year and look back on all of this as a lesson learned.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Making My Own Destiny

I've always been the type of person that sort of sat back and let life happen. I always looked at people that went after what they wanted with admiration because I just never did that for myself.  I'm not the most assertive person and I hate to rock the boat or upset anyone.  I am a total people pleaser, even if it takes away from doing something for myself. 

I'm starting to realize that I can't do that anymore.  I have goals, I have dreams and I can't just wait for good fortune to come my way.  I have to go for it and work hard to achieve it. 

I've been working hard lately on things for others and I've gotten off track of what I need to do for myself so I am trying to manage my time better, fit the things I want to do, in where I can and make time for family.  It isn't always easy but nothing worth having is ever easy, at least that's how the saying goes. 

Spring is right around the corner and with that comes the busiest season of our family life.  The kids are all in different sports, which means a ton of running around and being at several places, several days a week.  I also have lots going on with my running, fitness and trying to prepare for our vacation.

I wish there were more hours in a day or more days in a week for me to get more done.  I've started to write out my goals in detail and write down the necessary steps to reach those goals. I read that in a personal development book on time management.  It really does make sense. 

I need to  change, er, tweak how I run my life. Marriage and family will always come first, then work and then all the mundane things that we have to do. For me, marriage and family are a huge task and work gets put in there because if I work hard to achieve the goals I have, I will be able to spend more time with my family and not work outside of home too much.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Why I Do What I Do

I had my kids when I was young and for so many years, I put all my time and energy into being a mom and somewhere along the way, I lost myself. I had an identity of mom and wife but not so much Priscilla. I didn't know what I really enjoyed, what drove me, what motivated me.

I started working out when I realized that I was at my heaviest and nothing fit me and I was miserable with myself. I may have looked like I was having fun and of course I was always smiling but I wasn't very happy with myself. I didn't want my kids to see me like that. I wanted my kids to know that if you create a goal for yourself and work hard, you CAN reach your goals. How could I tell them that but not show them? Exercise changed that for me.

Through running, cycling, yoga, pilates, weight training and so many other forms of exercise, I found myself. Here I was, making new friends, changing my body, and feeling a sense of accomplishment. Am I super thin and is my body toned? No, but I am a work in progress and I always will be. No one is perfect, everyone has their own insecurities and story. I respect that because it is their story to tell, not mine to judge.

I became a Beachbody coach because I want to help others realize their potential, that they too can have their own identity. That they are able to reach their goals and know that they are worth every single minute of that workout, that they are worth the effort it takes to try. I can't do anything for you, you have to put in the work but I can walk beside you and be there to cheer you on, support you and celebrate your victories as you reach them.

I love what the 21 Day Fix program and Shakeology does for me, I am learning what I should be eating and portion control so that I am creating that better version of me. Do you know why? Because I am worth it. I am worth that effort and worth the time it takes to learn new habits and to make the changes necessary to be healthier. I'm not striving to be skinny, I want to be healthy and strong so I can be here for my kids.

I have a new 21 Day Fix challenge group starting in March, if you would like to start your journey, message me. I have a limited amount of open spots in the group. I would love to talk to you more about your goals and how I can help you find yourself the way that I found me.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Saying Goodbye to Someone I've Never Met.

When I signed up for the IRun4 program, I remember thinking how awesome it would be, how I was going to have a great relationship with my buddy, they would inspire me to do better.  I was going to exchange gifts with them, post a lot of my workouts for them and get to know them. 

That happened.

It has been so great to get to know my "coach" and her family.  They are an amazing, inspiring and loving family.  I got to know them through Facebook and we really connected.  Her sweet smile was infectious and I really truly enjoyed the relationship we had built through the program.

I received a message before Christmas that there were some health issues going on with my buddy.  She was having seizures and something was just off with her.  They decided to do MRIs and scans to find out what was going on.

The outcome and diagnosis was heartbreaking.  Her brain was deteriorating.  She was not going to live a long life.  The doctors didn't know how much time she had but they knew that there wasn't anything they could do for her to change the course of her future.

I sort of panicked.   Here I was getting to know this family and forming a true friendship with this little girl and she was going to die?!  I was going to have to deal with the death of this new, beloved friend.  I really didn't know how I was supposed to react.

This morning, my sweet friend and coach, Eleri, passed away.  She was six years old.  She loved horses, music and had a wonderful smile.  She leaves behind a loving family that changed her life when they adopted her into their loving home and saved her from the life she knew.

My life is forever changed by Eleri.  She will always hold a special place in my heart and I will always remember her.  I will continue to dedicate my miles to her and virtually make my way to her in New Mexico with my cool app that I downloaded. I will always share this experience with her.  I can't help but smile knowing that she is truly free now from all pain, all physical restrictions and from fighting.

Godspeed to you Eleri, thank you for changing my life for the better just by being in it. 

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Half Marathon training in full swing (again)

I saw the graphic on Facebook and I nearly had a panic attack.  Only 100 days until the Pittsburgh Marathon weekend....which means I need to get my butt in gear for training for the half marathon. 

I have decided that I am going to take on a new approach to my training though.  Along with the obvious training runs that I have to do, I am doing as much cross training as I can to help strengthen my core and legs.  I think that it will make a huge difference to how I run and my endurance.

I've taken up yoga, Body Pump, 21 Day Fix workouts and spin classes.  I will do other things to cross train along the way but those are the main ones. 

I went on a 5.60 mile run today in the cold and snow.  It was not easy at all.  It was probably my hardest run ever and I didn't have music to help distract me or get me into a nice rhythm.  I think that may have been the biggest factor.

I got the run in though and I joined the local running store's group run to get it in. I liked it and I am hoping to go again next week when they will have a Saucony rep there so we can try their shoe while we run and see if we like them! 

This is me during my run and the scenery, with my final run results up top.  My time was certainly not the best but that's okay.  The mileage is more important to me than the time. 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Another Year Gone, Another Year Ahead

Yesterday was my birthday.  I am officially 36 years old and I am loving it.  I don't worry much about age and adding the years up.  I feel much younger than I am and when I say my age, the number always sounds weird to me, like it isn't really true.

I felt good yesterday even though I had to work both jobs and had a good amount of running around to do.

The last year of my life had been full of ups and downs.  Many more than I can even count.  I had some really bad times when I wasn't sure where my life was heading and I had some really great times when I felt on top of the world.  That is how life works though, right? 

I look forward to a year full of awesome possibilities and reaching for my dreams.  I look forward to creating new memories with my loved ones and starting new adventures. 

I came home from work a little grumpy because it was a long day but my husband and kids surprised me with cards and  a cookie cake.  It was very much appreciated.  They lit candles and sang to me too.  I really loved it.

36 isn't so bad so far............

My birthday morning selfie turned out great, if I do say so myself! ;)

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Off to a great start

Well, I am back from my hiatus and really to get rolling for a successful, happy, full of fun 2015!

I have been busier than ever but I want to get back to some fun and one of the best things for me was getting my thoughts and feelings out on my blog so I'm back! 

I will say that 2015 has gotten off to a great start and I am so happy with where this year is heading.

I have spent the past couple of months focusing on things that matter to me, first and foremost, my marriage. We weren't really on the rocks or headed for divorce or anything but we needed to focus more on us.  We started by making sure that we went on a date every week.  So, every Friday or Saturday, we go out for dinner and a few drinks.  Nothing fancy but it's necessary. Chuck always says to me that "before the kids and our jobs, it was us."  That has become my motto for our marriage, we need to remember that we are the foundation of our family and having that time to bond and focus on each other is absolutely a priority.  Even if it means 2-3 hours together, the outcome has been great.  We are laughing more, we are remembering what we love about each other and it's something to look forward to every week.  There's nothing better than knowing I get my best friend all to myself every week!

We have been trying to make sure that we are keeping the kids grounded...not in the punishment sense. We want to know that in a society where kids are spoiled, ungrateful and mouthy, we are not allowing it from our kids.  It isn't always easy since they are surrounded by kids that are given everything they could want and get them simply by telling their parents to get it for them.  We weren't raised that way and our kids aren't being raised that way.  We work hard for everything we have...our kids will as well.  In the process, we are trying to spend time as a family.  We are watching movies, sitting around talking and just hanging out together. We want our kids to know that we are here for them.  That they can talk to us and trust us.  It's not easy raising teenagers!!

Personal goals.  I have a lot of them.  Some of them are easily attainable, as long as I focus on the goal.  Most are things I need to put my best effort into and I plan on checking in on my goals every month to check my progress.  Here are a few of them: run 2 half marathons, be a better wife, mom, sister, daughter and friend, build my business, make my goal weight, tone and firm muscles, go on a family vacation and a weekend away with Chuck.  I have also come to realize that some goals are going to depend on my reaching other goals. 

I have already run one race this year and I bettered my time for that particular race.  My goal is to do at least one race every month and I need to finish my race calendar and work on registering for them.

I am excited for where 2015 will take me, my family and everyone else.  I am hopeful that this will be a great year.