Saturday, December 24

Merry and Bright

May your days be

Merry and Bright

and may all your

Chritmases be white!

I'm a desert girl, by choice

but white Christmases are lovely!

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

**R.F. info coming soon!**

Monday, December 19

When I Say "We"...and FIT TIP (#149)

We just returned from a wonderful weekend with my favorite Texans.

When I say "We", I am referring to R.F. and myself.

When I say wonderful weekend, I am referring to:
---a Silly String "war" with my 2 little Texans
R.F. won Emerson over at this point...helping her spray me **and Stone** with her pink can of Silly String.

---watching/helping my little Texans play "fetch" with Jake, the dog
I'm not sure if they wore him out or he wore them out...which is not an easy task, either way. We were laughing so hard, watching the kidlets outsmart the dog.

---yummy, authentic Mexican food
R.F. is not afraid of jalapenos! He does spicy very well!

---a search for blue slushies
Even though it was super cold, that is the afternoon snack Stone requested.

---playing in the cave
One of the best collection of toys, according to Stone and Emerson...located in my brother's home.

---hanging out @ my brother's home
Got to spend fun time with my mom, brother and sister-in-law and their son Josh.

---hanging out @ the Jessup's
Got to introduce R.F. to Cliff's parents and the Navarros.

---Kendal & Cliff got to meet R.F.
Two thumbs up...going both ways!

After hearing the words Kendal used to describe R.F. to another family member...I decided that is exactly what I will do on my next post. Since I have been accused of being "vague" regarding R.F. **and other personal things** on my blog---my next post will include how I have described him to people, maybe a few pictures, and...

...well, tune in!

FIT TIP (#149): Fight Fat with Flavor
Savoring strongly flavored foods can help you feel more satisfied with less food.
Say bye-bye to bland, without adding creamy sauces or sugary glazes, by using one of the following:
---Chinese five-spice powder
---Fruity balsamic vinegar
---Wasabi powder
---Sriracha sauce
They lend zest with fewer than 10 calories!

Words for the Week

Sunday, December 11

A Thing for Bing...and FIT TIP (#148)

This time of year **as long as I can remember**I love me some Bing.

I have already **along with RF** watched Bing in White Christmas and Holiday Inn.

Did you know he was born Harry Lillis Crosby?
Although he was known as Bing from a young age...
his other nicknames included The Old Groaner,
El Bingo, Le Bing, and Der Bingle.

Have you heard his Little Drummer Boy
duet with David Bowie? Brilliant!

Christmastime just wouldn't be the same without El Bingo.

FIT TIP (#148): Relaxation Response
One way to foster the relaxation response is to engage in pleasant repetitive activities. Those that involve easy concentration and lulling repetition, like knitting, swimming, even petting an animal, calm the mind.

Words for the Week

Monday, December 5

Baby it's Cold Outside...and FIT TIP (#147)

**our Chloe, who turns 4 this month!**

Brrrr, only 36 degrees in the Valley of the Sun this morning!
One of the best things about chilly weather **in my opinion** is hot chocolate.
So many fun and yummy options, and **if you're not pumpkin-ed out** this is one of the best...

Hot Pumpkin White Chocolate

--4 cups whole milk
--1 (15oz) can pumpkin
--1 (14oz) can sweetened condensed milk
--1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
--8 ounces finely chopped white chocolate
optional: whipped cream & pumpkin pie spice for garnish

In large pan combine milk, pumpkin, condensed milk and pumpkin pie spice, whisking well. Bring to simmer over medium heat, stirring frequently. Remove from heat. Add white chocolate, whisking to dissolve. Ladle into mugs and garnish. Serve immediately. Heaven!

Another **quick & easy** option for coconut lovers...delish!

After stoking your sweet tooth, I now offer you another FIT TIP, because I'm thoughtful like that :)

FIT TIP (#147): You Can!

Words for the Week

Sunday, November 27

Adventures in Peep Toes...and FIT TIP (#146)

It's beginningto look a lot like Christmas...
except here in the Valley of the Sun
where we are enjoying temperatures well into the 70's.

Which is just dandy if you're a lover of peep toes, as I am.

These happen to be my current favorites.They went on a very unusual journey with me yesterday...
they accompanied me **and RF** to the dump.

Yes, you heard me right, I went to the dump. AND I was wearing my favorite peep toes when I did so. WHY?
Plain and simply because I had no idea a trip to the dump would make it's way onto my Saturday agenda when I dressed for the day. AND, it certainly was better than the alternative...


Earlier in the week I had volunteered to help RF clear-out/organize his HUGE pantry on Saturday. A non-cooking single man and his pantry...yikes! I started this project just as anyone who knows me would expect...

3 piles:

In the end, the KEEP pile **items he may actually use** was the smallest of the three. The GIVE pile **good items he will never use** filled the trunk and back seat and were delivered to the closest food bank.

It was the TOSS pile **expired, scary items too numerous for the trash bin** that was the largest of the three and demanded a trip to the dump.

Once it was all loaded in, I turned to RF and said, "Why don't you grab a blanket and maybe we can find a shady spot on the way there for a little picnic!" Sometimes I think I'm funny. Thankfully, so does RF!

We got to the dump and backed right in where we were directed. STINKY! I was, no doubt about it, the best-dressed patron and the only female. We got out and started chucking cans and bottles **canned peaches, was my best guess** into the HOLE. Things were crashing and exploding and we were laughing and men were staring and...

it was so much fun. Until we got back to RF's and I realized "something" was stuck on the bottom of one of my peep toes!!!

FIT TIP (#146):

Came across this list and thought it would be a good "holiday health" reminder.

Words for the Week

Wednesday, November 16

Sharing a Fortune...and FIT TIP (#145)

Last night we ate Chinese food.And naturally we cracked open our fortune cookies.



I asked if I could share his...and he said yes **he's nice like that**
and so, I crumpled up the one about disastrous spending :)

FIT TIP (#145):

Words for the Week
it is not happy people who are thankful, it is thankful people who are happy.

Sunday, November 13

Take it Away, Please...and FIT TIP (#144)

The best part about being involvedin the neighborhood garage sale was:

--someone hauling away "stuff" I no longer want/need **and paying me**
--not having to place the ads and make/post/remove the signs
--getting rid of **almost** everything I wanted to, and thus
--ending up with a clean garage and uncluttered closets
--meeting neighbors in the middle of the street **during the lulls** to
--compare notes about various "shoppers" and
--eat homemade tamales, pumpkin muffins and
--peanut butter snickerdoodles **my contribution**
--donating the remaining items to the Child's Crisis Center

All in all, it was a fairly painless and very entertaining experience...
I received a marriage proposal (which amused RF) and one group of ladies asked to see the inside of my house (sorry no, to both requests).

FIT TIP (#144): For A.M. Energy
Stand a few inches in front of your bedroom doorway and lift arms so that elbows are at shoulder height. Place palms on the edges of the door jamb, framing both sides of the doorway. Anchor hands as you lean forward and exhale. Hold for a few breaths, allowing shoulder blades to move together and the chest to open. Then, inhaling, return to starting position.

Words for the Week

Monday, October 31

Happy Happy

Took these pictures while visiting my Utah Brownies **Tanner's family** in Provo earlier this month.

Hope your Halloween is fun and safe...and a little spooky!

Words for the Week

Words for the Week

Tuesday, October 4

A Dogs Approval...and FIT TIP (#143)

I have a thing for swinging bridges.I'm pretty sure I could spend a day or two at this very spot.
~~tall trees
~~open windows
~~swinging bridge
Yes, I'm pretty sure I could!

On another note **because some of you've been asking** there's a new "someone" in my life. I want to say so much...but I won't... yet.
Milo (my dog) approves. He NEVER approves.
This is a big deal!

FIT TIP (#143): Be Your Own Cheerleader
We know how to encourage other people and help build confidence in our friends. Chances are you're not nearly as kind and supportive of yourself when it comes to slip-ups. A lot of people don't realize how CRITICAL their self-talk is!

Try this: Write down the things you say to yourself when you fall short of your goals, then rewrite them as if you were talking to a pal.

Words for the Week

Friday, September 23

Autumn is Official...and FIT TIP (#142)

At the end of summerI spent some time in Texas. **with my 80 year-old mom**
Visiting family and friends!

I haven't been blogging much **reading or writing**
because I've started a few new **time-consuming** projects than I'd been thinking about for a while now.

FIT TIP (#142): Compliments of Jillian Michaels

Words for the Week

Tuesday, August 30

As August Winds Down...and FIT TIP (#141)

Took a spontaneous tripto the San Diego area.
**Carlsbad, Coronado Island, Del Mar, etc.**

Ate some yummy meals...
best calamari ever at one restaurant in Carlsbad
and best garlic bread **shhh, don't tell my new workout partner**
the next night, right around the corner.
**and those were just the appetizers!**

Went on some fun bike rides...
including one around Coronado Island
on a double bike. **I only feared for my life once ;)**

Relaxed on the beach, shopped, and
visited the Mormon Battalion Memorial in
Old Town San Diego.
So impressive...if you've never been...go!

All in all, it was such a fun escape
from **record-breaking** temperatures here in
the Valley of the Sun!

Words for the Week

FIT TIP (#141): Think Beyond the Dumbbell
To de-jiggle your arms faster, trade tricep kickbacks (which I love, by the way) for the body-weight-only Crab Crawl.

~~Sit on ground with knees bent, feet flat, and place palms on ground by sides and slightly behind you.

~~Lift hips to form a tabletop from knees to shoulders.

~~Crawl forward 10 steps, then crawl back 10 steps.

~~Rest 20 seconds; crawl left 10 steps and right 10 steps.

Words for the Week

Friday, August 19

Summer Showers...and FIT TIP (#140)

Couldn't resist taking a picture **thank you iPhone** of this creative water feature in front of a darling cafe **on one of my summer getaways**.

Speaking of getaways...this summer has been so fun
and gone so fast!
School has begun in the Valley of the Sun.

Besides a few fun trips
I've been working on a few projects
and not blogging.

Maybe I'll share soon!?!

Since I mentioned **on one of my last posts**
that I'd been "treadmill-ing" it lately
I've been asked what I watch and/or listen to
while exercising.

I actually put together an up-tempo
playlist specifically for my indoor endeavors.

Club Can't Handle Me - Flo Rida
Firework - Katy Perry
Yeah 3x - Chris Brown
Please Don't Go - Club Mix
Party Rock Anthem - LMFAO
Green Light - John Legend & Andre 3000
Raise Your Glass - Pink

I trade off between my "treadmill playlist"
and a few other fitness playlists I have.
I love iTunes!

FIT TIP (#140): Work With Your Strengths
Instead of focusing on what you aren't good at ("I'm not a runner" or "I've got bad knees"), concentrate on what you excel at ("I walk really fast" or "I have great core strength"). Building on the positives by choosing activities that play to them will help you find your inner athlete.

Words for the Week
"The ornament of a house is the friends who frequent it." --Ralph Waldo Emerson

Monday, July 25

Beyond the Baywatch Moment...and FIT TIP (#139)

Summer's begin brought a "Baywatch" moment.Compliments of my trip to Cali. **no worries, just a jogger's bloody toe**

June also brought Tanner's cute familyto the Valley of the Sun.
It was so much fun to hang out with Tanner, Charee and Chloe & Tru before their move to Germany. I am so excited for them and the adventures and opportunities they have to look forward to!
xoxo to the T. Brown crew!!!

I also got to spend some fun June time in Texas...but those pics aren't on this computer. Had a blast with the Jessups, as usual. Also had an interesting flight from Dallas to Phoenix...which is becoming the norm.

The middle of summer **July** is turning out to be as enjoyable as the **June** beginning. The heat hasn't even gotten on my nerves yet. Escaping a few times each month surely helps!

FIT TIP (#139): Laugh it Off!
Laughter is very healthy! It's also very aerobic--engaging every single organ system in the body. There are certain core muscles that only become engaged when you're laughing.

A study by the American Physiological Society found that even anticipating a laugh could produce endorphins and shut down production of the stress hormone cortisol.

Words for the Week

Monday, July 11

Speed Bump Ahead...and FIT TIP (#138)

Slow down summer...speed bump ahead.
**took this photo while visiting southern California last week...ahhh!**

My Summer Crushes:

Frozen Strawberry Lemonade...from McDonald's.
I'm not a big McDonald's fan. **except for their straws...I love how substantial they are**
Their frozen strawberry lemonade is as good as any I've enjoyed.
And can we talk convenient **drive-thru**...and inexpensive? Winner!

Tom Larry Crowne.
I loved the way this character took an unfortunate situation and used it as an opportunity to transform himself inside and out!
**he looks so cute on that scooter...go figure**

The treadmill...has become my summer buddy, thanks to triple-digit heat outside.
Hopefully this crush will last until cooler temps return!

YogaToes...expediting recovery time after activity...such as exercising, sight-seeing, shopping. **look strange but feel good**
Retail for $39, but I found them at TJ Maxx for under $10.

And for coconut, don't walk...for a limited time only.

FIT TIP (#138): Take a Breath
Even if you're not in yoga class, being mindful of your breathing can pay off. Inhaling and exhaling evenly and completely makes any workout more effective by bringing extra oxygen to your muscles.

Aim for about 12 inhalations and exhalations per minute.

Words for the Week