Get nuts about your nutrition

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Plan and prep tips for healthier eating

So of all my post categories…this category, nutrition, is my struggle.  I really have to work at being consistent with my systems and routines.  I seriously LOVE the way my weeks flow when I have a healthy eating plan. However, it just takes a hiccup like leaving town or having a long tournament weekend to get thrown off.  But that lovely feeling of control over my nutrition keeps me keeping on.

Prepare to Succeed

Exercise is important for my mental and physical health and I have no problem getting in my workouts but as my trainer often says ‘great abs are made in the kitchen’ meaning that it’s what we feed our bodies that really gets us closer to our physical health goals.  One of my main health goals right now is to get to 18-20% body fat and I know that this will not happen with exercise alone.  But, whether you are trying to lose body fat or maintain, good nutrition overall just feels better. (more…)

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Be a GOAL DIGGER!

Be a goal digger

This recent series of blog posts is about making time for yourself and then using your ME time wisely. In the first post in this series, I offered some time management tips that work for me.  If you missed this post, check it out here.  Now we need to hone into where you want this ME time to be spent, but first you need to pause and make a plan.

Make things happen

There are two main buckets of people.  Those that wait for things to happen to them and those that make things happen.  I prefer to surround myself with the people that make things happen.  I find them more interesting to talk to, inspiring, and uplifting.  Perhaps this explains why I have a sick fascination with reading true WW II stories about survivors of the Holocaust.  I can’t get enough of the stories about the strength and perseverance these usually ordinary people had to fight through extreme and unbelievable circumstances.  I love the movie Rudy and any true story about the underdogs setting a goal, believing they can do it, and making it happen. (more…)

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Who knew I would marry my prom date!?!

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19 lessons learned in our 19 years of marriage

You may have missed this random fact that I have shared on my About page:  I married my 1989 prom date.  By choice – not necessity.  Jason and I started dating in my senior year of high school, he was a junior.  Our first date we dined at the Real Mandarin House (I’d hate to see what the fake restaurant looked like since years later rumor was the real one was shut down for serving up felines!).  After Chinese, we went to see a Tom Hanks bomb film called The Burbs.  We went to prom that spring.  I was in a Laura Ashley phase and picked out the fabric and pattern that my sister Susie handmade and Jason’s tux was gray but looked lilac in the pictures.  Enjoy this 80’s prom throwback! 

We dated long distance for several years…on and off.  I started at Penn State that summer and he finished his last year of high school and went to University of Alabama.  We were married on April 27, 1996 – 19 years ago!  The past few years, our pace of life has significantly picked up as our responsibilities to help care for our parents was added to our already full plates.  Our kids also have active lives which has resulted in a jammed packed family calendar. Our days often feel like we are on a moving treadmill that never stops until we crash into the pillows at night.  I know I’m guilty of getting caught up in the day to day routine and sometimes forgetting what’s truly important.  This post is part of my anniversary gift to my husband.  After all, he’s a guy and we all know what he really wants.  It’s been fun to pause for a few moments and reflect on our relationship and I thought I’d share some of my thoughts, learnings, and insights after being married to Jason for the past 19 years.

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The lessons and learnings

1.      It turns out that I can still sleep well even when my bed isn’t made before I get in it and that toilet paper still functions even when it’s resting on top of the previous empty cardboard roll. Sense of humor is vital to our marriage.

2.      Traveling as a couple or a family is so much fun but I appreciate how lucky I am to be so happy to return home after any trip.

3.      Sometimes Jason is right and I’m wrong and that’s ok.  Shadow has been a sweet addition to our family home and is a visual example of unconditional love and an example of how father may know best.

4.      We are powerful duo when we work together in small projects and big life changes.  We are actually better at working together on huge life changing problems than the pesky annoying little ones.

5.      I’ve got the best built in accountability partner when it comes to health and fitness.  I stand up straighter with confidence knowing that he always has my back.  But I hate that he has a better metabolism!

6.      Jewish people can like commercialized Christmas more than Christians.  Marrying a Jewish man has perks like I always get to decide what we are going to do for Christmas and Easter.

7.      If I want to be in the know about his life, I have to pay attention to his phone conversations or ask very specific questions about his day.  Communication is a skill that will never be perfected.

8.      Romance is something you always have to work at but cheesy books like 50 Shades of Gray can help.  Men truly get sexier with age.

9.      Trigger words like ‘always’ and ‘never’ are called trigger words for a reason.

10.  Love is not just a gift to be received it has to be given as well.  Love is reciprocal.  When I make deposits in our romance bank, I get nice dividends.

11.  For me to be a great wife, I first need to be happy with myself.  Jason doesn’t complete me…he enriches and compliments me!

12.  It’s silly to expect him to read my mind and notice when I need help instead of asking for it.

13.  Sealing the deal before and after a girl’s trip away makes it easier for him to let me go off on my own.

14.  Positive reinforcement of behavior works on husbands, too!  Have you read my Choreplay post?!

15.  Marriage is the ultimate commitment and promise and I’m thankful that he continues to choose this ‘package’.

16.  The small unexpected fun moments can mean more than the huge expected ones.

17.  That we both can alternate being the teacher and the student.  Neither of us will ever be done learning new things about each other.

18.  We both need to be involved in the finances to keep ourselves in check.

19.  There is no place like home. I’m proud of the life we have built and continue to build and there is certainly no place that I’d rather be.

What lessons are you learning in your marriage?  How do you prioritize your relationship with your spouse?  Share what works for you in the comments below.

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Turns out there just might be enough hours in the day

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Four Tried and True Time Management Techniques

I have a type A personality and have finally accepted that I can’t change my type.  I love to organize just about anything and I’m constantly looking for ways to improve a process.  In fact, many of these skills comprise what I do for a living as an IT Product Manager.  I get excited in the Container Store and I love to help my friends and family purge a purse and organize a closet.  Remember the show, Clean Sweep?  Loved it!  Years ago I took a Franklin Covey time management class and it was right up my alley.  If organization was a language, I’d consider myself fluent.  Below, I’m going to try and consolidate my best secrets and systems around time management in the hopes of giving you back a few more hours in your day for you to focus on your personal health and wellness. (more…)

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To be or not to be an anonymous blogger – that was the question

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Blogging Anonymously

When I first started my blog in the spring of 2015, I was afraid to announce that I was the author.  I primarily wanted to stay behind the curtain because I wanted to feel complete freedom of speech which meant writing without offending anyone.  I really dislike confrontation.

I lasted about a month before coming out.  This secret was kept longer than I lasted when I lived in sin with my husband for now 19 years, Jason.  When I got my first job at Turner Broadcasting and moved into a one bedroom apartment in Vinings, I told my parents I was living solo.  I explained that Jason was giving me most of his furniture from his apartment because he was going to move in with his aunt to save money.  Jason and I moved in together and my soul turned blacker and blacker that week.  I made it to the next weekend and came clean with my parents at their house.  My dad told me the ultimate thing that always got to me: ‘I’m so disappointed in you, Elizabeth’.  My mom said something like ‘Why would he (meaning Jason) buy the cow when he could get the milk for free?’  Really mom?  It didn’t change our situation, we knew we were committed for life but we felt we were too young to get married.  We didn’t want to waste an extra rent when we could be banking that income for future plans.  We had an understood agreement that we would live together no more than a year before something more serious like an engagement would happen.  By the way, it took Jason just about a year to take the next step and then we had a yearlong engagement. (more…)

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What’s better than foreplay? Choreplay!

edited_love_languageStaying sane in this busy life and working to enjoy the journey is something I couldn’t do without the help of my husband, Jason.  Like many of you, we often divide and conquer with the kid’s activities, homework, appointments, household responsibilities, etc.  Some weeks I’m crazed and he picks up the slack and vice versa.  We strive for a family rhythm but stuff happens from week to week and we have to adjust.

My husband and I are approaching our 19th wedding anniversary.  As I see all the prom pictures on Facebook, I let people know that I married my prom date.  This can happen!  At the time, I was definitely ‘in love’ but I don’t know that I was thinking about marriage.    I was more concerned with if our relationship will handle the distance of me going to Penn State while he was back in Georgia as a senior in high school.

One of the best relationship books I have ever read and added to the ‘my-5-stars’ bookshelf on Goodreads is The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate by Gary Chapman.  I called this book a game changer, particularly if both you and your spouse read it.  It’s not a huge book – 208 pages or you can listen to it on Audible like I did.  You can thank me later. (more…)

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Who’s got the time to be a helicopter mom?

children need responsiblity

You see those helicopter parents hovering over their kids everywhere basically never letting their kids experience failure and helping them each step of the way.  I know these moms and dads think are doing a good thing but frankly I feel like it is a disservice to their child.  God forbid, what if one of these helicopter parents has a crash crisis landing?  What will happen to these children that have no clue how to fend for themselves?  I was grateful that I had already instilled in my kids some responsibility when I returned to work outside the home five years ago because once my husband and I began to provide care for our aging parents and were stretched out even thinner, our kids were in a prime position to pick up even more of the areas that began to slack.

I usually tell my kids that my job as their parent basically boils down to two main things:

1) Keep them safe.

2) Help them become people that others enjoy being around. (more…)

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