Fitness, Food and Photography

Follow me on my road to fitness… Because it's all about the journey, not the destination.

2012 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 6,100 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 10 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Weekend Recap: Christmas Part Two and Family Game Day

Whew.  We had a busy weekend.  Hard to believe it’s over already.  We had such a good time – first with hubby’s family on Saturday and then my family on Sunday.

I wore my ‘HO HO HO’ shirt, which backward is ‘OH OH OH’.  LOL  Even though it was the 29th of December, we were pretending it was still Christmas Day.



One of my favorites parts of Christmas is always watching other people open the presents I buy for them.  I try to put careful thought into purchasing gifts and get things that I think they will really enjoy.  I could care less if I open anything.  Really.  I’m not just saying that.

more presents!!

Lunch was Egg Salad Sandwiches with chips and slaw.  YUM.

egg salad

my plate

my plate

My kids, however, were not quite as thrilled about egg salad as I was.


Well, this picture was taken BEFORE we gave them the sandwich.  They look unusually happy here.  Perhaps they don’t know what we’re serving for lunch.

present time

After lunch, it was time to open presents!!

cowboy boots

My daughter stomped around in my cowboy boots all afternoon.

sassy pants

Then she wore her new socks on her hands while she carried her Dr Seuss tote bag around.  I’m telling you … this kid is a TRIP!!!  She is constantly cracking me up.

pants on the head

Now she’s wearing her pants on her head.  (Thank you, Uncle Alan, for teaching her that!)  lol

baby lamb

And after yet another wardrobe change (into her brand new pajamas), she’s examining her new baby lamb.  I guess she decided he was alright so she gave him a hug.


Since today’s Elf4Health challenge was to do something for yourself, I tried to sneak away for a little quiet time with my hot tea by the tree.  It didn’t last very long, but it was the only quiet time I would get all day!

hot tea

Cute mug courtesy of Joy Tanner Pottery! 🙂

version5edited Elf for Health

Dinner was Chicken Tetrazzini.  I wasn’t thrilled about seeing all those carbs.  And it really just goes downhill from here!  (Might as well go ahead and take away my “Elf4Health” badge right now)!   🙂

chicken tetrazzini

Don’t get me wrong – it was delicious.  But I felt guilty for eating it.

dessert tray

I felt even worse after I had a piece of cheesecake.  Seriously, how can I resist cheesecake???  In my defense, I have not had one in over a year!  Yes, a full year.  The last cheesecake I had was the one I made for Thanksgiving last year ….  Southern Living’s Pumpkin-Pecan Cheesecake.  It was DIVINE! Here’s a pic:

last year's cheesecake


Who brought the chocolate????

mom and martha

I didn’t take any pictures while we were playing Apples to Apples.

Nancy and Andy

But this was towards the end of the evening when we played Scattergories.


So. Much. Fun.

Question of the Day:  What is your favorite family game??  (We might need a few suggestions for our next get together)!!

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Last Things Thursday – 12/27/12

1. Last food you ate

I made a Turkey Taco Soup for dinner.  It was delicious.

Ground turkey, taco seasoning, black beans, tomatoes, corn and onions.  Topped with sour cream and jalapenos!  I should have taken pictures and posted the recipe because you’re going to want to make this!!!

2. Last beverage you drank

A little white wine with dinner

3. Last workout

A 30-minute treadmill interval that had me sweating!

4. Last thing you pinned

I love this bathroom transformation ….  maybe one day ….

Pinned Image

5. Last text message you sent

To my friend Alice to let her know that the boys were being good.  (Her son was spending the night with mine).

6. Last blog you visited

My new Elf’s brand new blog:

Yay, Alyssa!  I can’t wait to read more!!

7. Last place you visited

My office building yesterday.  And I have to go back again today.  😦

8. Last show you watched

Big Bang Theory – our new fave!

The Big Bang Theory Poster


9. Last thing you baked

That would be all the crap on Christmas.  Red Velvet cake balls, Peppermint Oreo Truffles, Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars and Bourbon Balls.  Please come and get it out of my house!


10. Last photo you Instagrammed


My adorable daughter who apparently wants to be a photographer like Mommy.  🙂


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Thankful Thursday – Twenty Times Over

Today’s Elf4Health Challenge asked us to write down 20 things we are thankful for.

version3edited Elf for Health Holiday Challenge

So here goes…..  it might be a little predictable and trite, but how can I not be thankful for my family???

1.  My loving and supportive husband

2. My smart and energetic 7-year old son

3. My adorable and sweet 2-year old daughter

4. My crazy family

5. My fun-loving friends

6. My (continually improving) health

7. My job (it pays the bills)

8. My co-workers who make said job worth getting out of bed for!

9. My comfy bed

10. My cozy, warm house

11. My hometown of Knoxville, TN

12. My neighbors

13. My country

14. My freedom

15. My Nikon DSLR

16. My back deck situated on a hill (where I watch every sunset)

17. My sugar-free creamer which makes my coffee my favorite part of my morning

18. My squat rack and basement gym

19. My smart phone

20. All my faithful blog followers

I am very blessed!


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Christmas Carb Coma

After all the anticipation, Christmas is finally here.  Ready or not, it’s here.  Thankfully I was ready.  It took a few days of craziness, panicking, back and forth to the store, but I think I did it.  And I think I went completely overboard too.

my tree

At first I didn’t think I had enough for my kids, but now I realize that they got WAAAAYYYY more than they needed/wanted/should ever have.  Anyone else do that??

letter to santa

Luke was very specific in his requests to Santa.  Even got out the Toys R Us catalog and circled the lego sets for Santa so he would know exactly which one to bring.

santa cat

No, Santa didn’t leave the cat.  In fact, I wish Santa had taken the cat back to the North Pole with him.  LOL  Anyone want a cat???


I did a lot of baking.  I mean A LOT.  More than I should have.  Problem is – I love to bake.  I just don’t get to do it very often.  If I bake it, I want to eat it.  And I shouldn’t.

oreo truffles

This year I made Peppermint Oreo Truffles (pictured above), Red Velvet Cake Balls, Chocolate- Peanut butter chip Bars, and Bourbon Balls (not pictured).  But I decided to make everyone a tin of treats to take with them so I could get them out of my house.

cookie tin

Christmas Morning tradition means cinnamon rolls for breakfast.



kids breakfast

Thankfully, I had a little bit of time before everyone showed up to fit in a quick circuit workout, which included squats, lunges, wall sits, box jumps and more.  My legs were jello!!



What I Ate Wednesday Healthy Holiday Recipes

I wish I could say there were ‘healthy’ foods at my Christmas party, but there weren’t.  My mom informed me that we were hosting Christmas at our house and because of that, she would bring the food.  She made a lasagna (with white pasta and no veggies) and she brought those little Sister Schubert’s yeast rolls (which taste really yummy but have no nutritional value whatsoever).  I was excited to hear that my Aunt was going to bring a salad until I saw it was iceberg lettuce with what I am pretty sure was mayonnaise as the dressing.  😦


Complete carb overload, but how do you say ‘no’ at Christmas???

After commencing the carb coma, it was time to open presents …..



My mom gave my 7-year old a Kindle Fire for Christmas.  (Not sure if it’s exactly appropriate for a 7-year old, but thankgoodness for parental controls).


Which then meant my 2-year old thought she could take over the Nintendo DS.


Here they are playing “together”.  LOL


elf shirts

Don’t you love their matching shirts?  My aunt made those for them.


My favorite part of the day was when everyone had gone home, the house was quiet again, and we opened up the board games.  I couldn’t wait to teach Luke how to play Monopoly and The Game of Life.  Those were my 2 favorite games when I was a kid.

Question of the Day:  What was your favorite board game as a kid??


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Weekly Photo Challenge: Surprise

From WordPressSurprise. There was talk of some sort of apocalypse today, but so far, so good. Big surprise! In honor of the world continuing, show me some surprises! If you’re at a loss what to share, I bet many of you have surprises hidden under a tree or in a closet somewhere. My photo is about the first big snowfall which surprised us overnight here in Italy. I woke up to a world covered in white and these were my first steps into the snow.

Share a picture which means SURPRISE to you!

surprise 1

Love watching my kids being surprised by Christmas morning.

surprise 2

Do you see her excitement??  This girl LOVES Mickey!!!!

surprise 3

surprise 4

Oh my gosh.  It’s the Lego Ninjago set he wanted!!

surprise 5

And this last picture isn’t too ‘surprising’ but it’s cute.  She got her own “leaptop” and now she’s blogging about how awesome Christmas was.

surprise 6

New to The Daily Post? Whether you’re a beginner or a professional, you’re invited to get involved in our Weekly Photo Challenge to help you meet your blogging goals and give you another way to take part in Post a Day / Post a Week. Everyone is welcome to participate, even if your blog isn’t about photography.

Here’s how it works:

1. Each week, we’ll provide a theme for creative inspiration. You take photographs based on your interpretation of the theme, and post them on your blog (a new post!) anytime before the following Friday when the next photo theme will be announced.

2. To make it easy for others to check out your photos, title your blog post “Weekly Photo Challenge: (theme of the week)” and be sure to use the “postaday″ tag.

3. Subscribe to The Daily Post so that you don’t miss out on weekly challenge announcements. Sign up via the email subscription link in the sidebar or RSS.


Last Things Thursday – 12/20/12

I have been a terrible blogger lately.  I’ve also been a terrible Elf this week.  I’ve been doing my challenges, but I haven’t been taking any pictures.  This week had great challenges, too!  (I’m referring to Elf4Health challenge sponsored by The Lean Green Bean and Nutritionella).  For example, I made these wonderful Chicken Enchiladas with Spinach for dinner.  But I never took a single picture to document them.  Best part was – the kids loved them!!  So I’ll definitely make them again soon.  They were delicious and I even used the low-carb wraps instead of flour tortillas.  You couldn’t even tell!!

Ok, so I figured I needed to lighten the mood after my Debbie Downer post yesterday.  And I like this ‘last things’ survey so much that I may just make it part of my weekly routine.

1.  Last song I listened to:

I’ve been looping The Dirty Guv’nahs new album in anticipation of the concert on New Years Eve!  Can’t wait!!

Somewhere Beneath These Southern Skies


2. Last workout:

Sadly, it’s been more than a few days since my last workout.  This week has been so busy I haven’t made time for exercise.  Although, I know as soon as I do, it will improve my mood drastically.

3. Last Instagram pic:

mickey christmas

my daughter, of course


4. Last food I ate:

As I said above, the last food I ate was the Chicken Enchiladas with Spinach.  But I didn’t take a picture of it.  The last food I photographed was my breakfast on Wednesday morning at our work Christmas party.  There was a full buffet of pastries, biscuits, hasbrowns and more.  Instead I was very good – only ate eggs and bacon with a side of fruit.


5. Last thing I pinned:

This totally cracked me up.

Pinned Image

6. Last text message I sent:

It was actually a response to my 7-year old’s teacher.  She told me to make sure he didn’t eat breakfast on Friday because she would bring food.  I asked her if I could make anything.  She said she was brining donuts.  So I offered to bring a healthy option …. Cuties!

7: Last blog I visited:

Besides The Lean Green Bean and Nutritionella’s site so I could check was the Elf4Health Challenge was today, I also checked out Nutritiously Plated.  She just posted a few really good looking recipes like Gingerbread Waffles and Peanut Butter Cup Pancakes.  I’m going to have to try those out soon!!

8. Last TV show I watched:

We were catching up on the DVR last night and watched the latest episode of How I Met Your Mother.  We love that show.  I am so sad to hear that this is the final season.  Although I am glad we’ll finally find out who the Mother is!!  Anyone want to take a guess???

But what about that ending on Monday??  Any one else see it??  LOVED IT!!!  So sweet!  Though, I still don’t think Robin and Barney really go together.  Whatever.  “NOBODY ASKED YOU, PATRICE!”  lol


The Crazy Week Before

You know Christmas is next week, right? I hope that’s not a news flash for anyone. It seems to have snuck up on me this year. I feel more behind than I have in recent years. Every year I say I’m going to start my shopping early next year. And every year I still end up procrastinating.

I’m sure everyone has that chicken-with-their-head-cut-off feeling this week before Christmas.  (If you don’t, then I envy you for being way more organized than I am!)
I haven’t really had any time to blog, which is fine because I haven’t felt much like blogging either. 

I really try to keep my posts positive and upbeat.  I want to be a motivator for other people.  But what happens when the motivator has a bad day (or two or three)?? I tend to be really hard on myself.  
Sometimes I feel like I try to do too much.  And because of that, I don’t feel like I do any one thing very well. 
With a husband and two kids, I feel like I need to be focusing more time and attention on them.  But instead I have this stressful full-time job, a few time-consuming hobbies, the courses I’m taking, my blog, and a fitness obsession.  It’s hard juggling work and balancing family time with everything else.

I didn’t do my usual WIAW post yesterday.  Mostly because I didn’t feel like it, but also because I didn’t eat very much.  I tend to do that when I am stressed.  Some people eat when they are stressed.  Not me – I eat when I’m happy.
(This may actually work in my favor, considering my wellness challenge ends in 11 days. Lol)

Question of the Day : What is left on your To Do List before Christmas?
And what do you do when you are stressed – eat or not?

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Delicate

From WordPress:  Delicate could be the tracings of frost on a window, a child’s tiny fingers and toes, the intricate pattern of a tree’s canopy, or something yet-to-be-discovered. So much of this challenge depends on your interpretation of “delicate,” and we look forward to seeing the range of images you capture.



Butterflies are definitely delicate.


Poppies are delicate.


Birds?  Are they delicate?


A cricket —  Just look at his delicate little legs.

And finally, the first thing that popped in my head for ‘Delicate’ was my daughter.  Being born 16 weeks early, she was definitely delicate.  No other word to describe her.  But since I used her as my subject for the Weekly Photo Challenge 2 weeks ago when ‘Thankful’ was the prompt.  I didn’t want to completely repeat myself.  But I can’t help bragging on her.

June 21, 2010 at 3 weeks old

June 21, 2010 at 3 weeks old


New to The Daily Post? Whether you’re a beginner or a professional, you’re invited to get involved in our Weekly Photo Challenge to help you meet your blogging goals and give you another way to take part in Post a Day / Post a Week. Everyone is welcome to participate, even if your blog isn’t about photography.

Here’s how it works:

1. Each week, we’ll provide a theme for creative inspiration. You take photographs based on your interpretation of the theme, and post them on your blog (a new post!) anytime before the following Friday when the next photo theme will be announced.

2. To make it easy for others to check out your photos, title your blog post “Weekly Photo Challenge: (theme of the week)” and be sure to use the “postaday″ tag.

3. Subscribe to The Daily Post so that you don’t miss out on weekly challenge announcements. Sign up via the email subscription link in the sidebar or RSS.


Last Things Thursday

I always love these fun little surveys.  When I saw that Katie at Katie Moves posted a Last Things Thusday on her blog, I wanted to do it too.  It’s similar to the one I posted a month ago.

1. Last thing on my iPod —

The Delta Saints ….  Just. Can’t. Get. Enough.

They will be in Knoxville on January 18th at Barleys!  I can’t wait!!




2. Last workout

I woke up with a massive sinus headache, so running was completely out of the question.  Every step I took, I felt it in my sinus cavity.  But the weather was so pretty and I really wanted to try out my new shoes.  (And my new compression pants!! -woop woop)!!

So I took a 3-mile walk around my [hilly] neighborhood, which felt pretty good.  And I got some natural Vitamin D!

new pants and shoes


3. Last cell phone picture

I just took it a few minutes ago.  Pogo was snuggling up to Luke this morning.


And last night I was posting pictures of him on Instagram.

sweet kitty

sweet kitty


4. Last book read

Well, I just finished my Nutrition class.  I read that whole book.  Does that count?  I don’t really have time for fiction right now.

nutrition book


5. Last snack


When I got back from my walk, I wanted something warm.  I was hoping we had one of those little instant Starbucks packets.  Instead, I found this.  It’s a coffee protein drink.  15 grams of protein and only 120 calories.  It says you can drink it hot or cold.  So I made it into hot chocolate.  I couldn’t get the powder to completely dissolve.  So there chunks.  And it didn’t really taste like hot chocolate.  It wasn’t bad.  But it wasn’t that good either.


Hubby was out of town last night.  With my sinus headache, I didn’t feel like cooking dinner for just the 3 of us.  So we went to Papa Murphy’s!  YUM.

xmas lights

Then we drove around the neighborhood looking at Christmas lights, pointing out which decorations we liked the best.

Question of the Day:  Do you still exercise when you are sick?  Or do you take a rest day??



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