Fitness, Food and Photography

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

Weekend Recap: Painting and Brick Moving

After Thanksgiving with my family, we headed to North Carolina for a working weekend with hubby’s family.  His sister and brother-in-law just bought their first house.  You may remember them from this post.  They are both potters and own a studio in downtown Bakersville.

So we offered to help them move.  I was so busy all weekend that I hardly took any pictures at all.  That is so unlike me.  But really, we were busy!

They’ve owned the house for a month now and have been working hard on pulling up the carpet, painting the walls and getting it ready to move in.  The kitchen was the last room that needed color.  Greg and I were happy to oblige.

While Greg finished the painting, I helped move bricks.  Yes, bricks.  One day, these bricks will be part of a kiln on their new property.  But first, we had to move them from the old house to the new house.  These bricks weigh 8 pounds each!!

What you see in this picture is only a fraction of the number of bricks.  There must be at least 6 or 8 pallets worth in total.  It’s hard to know for sure how many bricks there are.

5 bricks = 40 pounds.   I wish I had counted the number of bricks I moved.

One trailer full.  We made at least 5 trips.

Here they are stacked up at the new house.  And that’s not even all of them.  That was a workout for sure!!

The kids chilled on the couch watching Monsters, Inc. while we worked.  Rough life.

By the time we got back to Knoxville, I was completely worn out.

But I am very excited to participate in the Elf4Health challenge sponsored by Lindsay at The Lean Green Bean and Elle at Nutritionella.  Challenge starts on Monday, the 26th.  You can read the rules HERE.  My first elf buddy is Anna at History Running Girl.

The first challenge is Meatless Monday.  Here is my Hard-boiled egg on whole wheat wrap with spinach.  YUM!!

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Weekend Recap: Shopping and Pumpkin Carving

How is it the last weekend in October and I haven’t bought a pumpkin yet?!?!?  October totally got away from me.  I can’t believe Halloween is a few short days away.

The hubs was out of town on Saturday so it was just me and the kids.  We had such a fun day!!  First, we went to pick out a pumpkin.

My 7-year old wanted the biggest one he could find.  And then he insisted on carrying it himself.

After the pumpkin patch, we went to Party City to buy him a Halloween costume.  That place was crazy.  (Hence no pics).  Thankfully he knew exactly what he wanted so we walked in, got it and left.

From there, we went to World Market.  I hardly ever shop here, so I forget how cool this store is.  Check out this display they had:

shipyard pumpkin head

How many should I buy??

If you are looking for Shipyard Pumpkinhead, World Market has it!!  I was slightly afraid I wouldn’t see anymore of it after checking the local craft beer store on Friday.  They were out.  The Shipyard website says the closest place for me to find it is 90 miles away.  So I was really surprised when I happened upon this huge display.  I am proud to say – I only bought ONE 6-pack!  I don’t need to stock up on beer.  If it’s in the house, I’ll drink it.

The kids had fun looking at all the toys and candy in the store.

my purchases

I love anything pumpkin, so I couldn’t resist buying this pumpkin gnocchi and pasta sauce.  (I haven’t tried it yet, though.  I’ll let you know if it’s any good.)  And normally, I like to wait til after Thanksgiving for anything Christmas-related, but I simply had to have the red velvet cake coffee!!  Mmmmm.

Not sure what that move is … apparently Spiderman knows karate??

As soon as we got home, he had to try on his costume!  In fact, he’s worn it pretty much the whole weekend.  He’s already run two holes in the mask.  And then we had to have an entire discussion about why I won’t buy him another one.

HIIT Workout of the Day

While the little one was napping, I made the 7-year old do my workout with me.  I scaled it down a little for him.  While I was doing box jumps, he was doing high knee jumps.  While I was doing ball slams, he was doing jumping jacks.  He did awesome.  I was impressed.

Sunday was a total ‘blah’ day.  It was cold and dreary out, which pretty much screwed up our original plans.  So we stayed in.  The 7-year old’s favorite game is Sorry.  We played multiple rounds, all of which I lost.

The highlight of the day was cutting up the pumpkin we bought!  (And, if I’m cutting a pumpkin, it only seems appropriate to enjoy some pumpkin beer while doing so).

I purchased one of those pumpkin carving kits.  You know, the kind with the stickers and you just cut around them.  Made it so easy.

Confession time:  This is the first pumpkin I’ve ever carved!  I know – that’s crazy.  I’ve just never been really into it because of the gutting that has to happen first.  It’s all slimy in there.  And I really don’t like getting crap under my fingernails.  But this year, I sucked it up.  Why?  Because I wanted roasted pumpkin seeds!!!  Yum!!!  (Pictures and recipe coming later).


The pictures are a bit deceiving … makes it look like they actually helped.  lol


Sorry for the poor quality pics – these were all taken on my phone.

Nothing better than a big pot of soup on a cold rainy day!

This soup was so easy to throw together.  I’ll give you the recipe, but it’s different every time.  On Friday night we grilled extra chicken so there was left over cooked chicken, which made it even easier!  I found a leftover corn on the cob in the fridge too, so I cut off the corn and threw it in there.


1 can chicken broth

1 can great northern beans

1 can black beans

1 can corn

2 cans diced tomatoes with jalapenos

1 lb chicken, cooked and choppped

diced carrots (optional)

2 large handfuls of kale

2 cloves of fresh garlic

about 2 Tbsp of chili powder

That’s it.  Just dump it all in a big pot (hence the name, dump soup).  Simmer on medium for about 30 minutes, then turn in on low until you are ready to serve.  Top with cheese and sour cream, and jalapenos if you want!  🙂

There’s so much leftover, we’ll be eating on it for days.  (which is fine – usually tastes better the second day anyways).



Birthday Funday

Today is my birthday.  I won’t tell you what number it is because at this point in my life, I would prefer to stop counting.  I subscribe to the old adage ‘Age is just a number’ and ‘You’re only as old as you feel’.  Sometimes, though, I’ll tell you – the kids make me feel so much older.

birthday banner

I was surprised with a banner, dinner, and presents when I got home from work yesterday.

Yay!  I love opening presents.  Do you see that black ball??  I’ve been wanting a Medicine Ball for so long now.  I am so excited!!

And my son made me some sweet cards.  On the inside of one, he drew me a sunset.  He said, “because you love sunsets.”  How sweet he is!

The hubs handed me a new beer to try.  I love Shock Top, I love wheat beer, and I love Pumpkin!  He did good.  It could have been a little more pumpkin-y, but it was really good.

Then he grilled us some fish and veggies, the makings of fish tacos!!  See that grill pan?  That was one of my birthday presents.  I’m not sure how much it was really for me.  He’s the griller.  I think he bought himself a present and wrapped it up and gave it to me.  But that’s fine.  I’m the eater.  So if he’s grilling, then I’m benefiting!  🙂

Fish tacos have become my new favorite thing!!

pumpkin cake

He attempted to make me a “healthy” pumpkin cake with almond flour.  He says it didn’t turn out well.  I say it was delicious!!!

I took the day off today so I could pack, get a few things done, and get pampered at the spa.  I also had a killer workout.

interval workout

That felt good.  I haven’t been as disciplined with my workouts lately as I should be.  I’ve been feeling a little ‘soft’.  So I needed this workout.  Those wall sits are going to hurt tomorrow!!!

hill sprints

That’s the hill I was sprinting.  From stop sign to stop sign.  I wish I had worn my heart rate monitor.  My heart was about to beat out of my chest on that fifth sprint.

I was so excited to use my new medicine ball for the ball slams!  That box jump-ball slam combination also spiked my heart rate quickly, even though I completed it in under 5 mintues.

low-carb wrap

After my facial, I came home and made a Low-Carb wrap.  There’s grilled chicken, cheese, hard boiled egg, grape tomatoes, fresh jalapenos, and greens topped with some wing sauce.  All on a 90-calorie Flat Out.  Yum!!

The birthday is not over yet.  We will do lots more celebrating this weekend.  Stay tuned for the Weekend Recap with lots of exciting photos.

Also, I wanted to say a quick Happy Birthday to my first foodie pen pal, Stephanie at My Freckled Life.  Other than Bill Murray and Nicole Richie, I’ve never known anyone else who shares my birthday with me!

Question of the Day:  How do you pamper yourself on your birthday??


Wednesday WOD

Happy Hump Day, everyone!!  It’s time for the Wednesday WOD.

After a particularly rough work day yesterday, I came home, sat my butt on the couch and enjoyed a glass of wine.  No running, no workout.  Oh well.

Back on track today.  Time for a good old fashioned circuit workout.

circuit workout


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Workout Wednesday

Happy Hump Day!  Here is today’s WOD:


Enjoy!  🙂


Monday Motivation

Yep.  It’s Monday already.  I’m so sad the weekend is over.  My 7-year old goes back to school tomorrow.  Not looking forward to getting up earlier, packing school lunches, rushing to get out the door on time and fighting traffic in school zones.  Ugh.

Last night was fun, though – I got to play tooth fairy!!  He had lost his 2 front teeth last week, but he’s been holding on to them so he could show all his friends before the tooth fairy took them away.

Finally last night he decided he wanted to “cash them in”.  The tooth fairy left him $10!  Seems like a lot for two teeth.  When I was a kid, all I got was a quarter!  Wow.  You know you’re officially old when you start saying stuff like that!

Anyways, time for that motivation!

steve jobs quote

Hmm.  Really makes you think.  This can apply to all aspects of our life, not just our fitness goals.  I’ve been wondering a lot lately….  if the things I’m doing are not making me happy, then why am I doing them??  I’m actively taking steps to change the things I do not like.  Most changes don’t happen overnight, I realize that.  But just knowing I’m working on improvement is good enough for now.

Like I said in my last post, my husband and I have been simplifying lately.  We’ve been taking a look at what’s truly important and ridding ourselves of all the little stuff that doesn’t matter.  For example, our basement had become a catch-all for everything we weren’t using.  All the outgrown kids clothes and toys were down there, my husband’s extra car parts, all the camping equipment, the Christmas decorations, etc etc.  The usual stuff people accumulate.  PLUS, after my dad died, we put a lot of his furniture in our basement til we decided what to do with it.  It’s a 900-square foot basement that looked like an episode of Hoarders.  I’m not kidding.  But earlier this year, slowly but surely, we’ve worked to sell the furniture, donate or sell the kids clothes and toys, clean out car parts, organize the camping and Christmas stuff, and actually made the basement usable again.  It took time and quite a bit of effort but it totally paid off.  We now have a home gym set up down there.  Pics here.  And it’s still a work in progress.

Speaking of the home gym, I’ll be using it tonight for a hard and fast workout I created.

ladder workout

Today’s WOD

Happy Monday!!!  I hope you are following your heart and doing the things that make you happy!!  If not, do some burpees instead.  🙂

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Today’s WOD


I was in the mood for a hard and fast workout. You know the kind – your heart is about to beat out of your chest, the sweat is dripping down your nose, and your lungs are on fire.  Crossfit-style.  Love it.

I’ve visited a couple of CF boxes and I love the competitive atmosphere, and the comraderie that follows. However, at this point in my life, it’s just not feasible to join right now (full-time job, 2 small kids and only one income), but I hope to in the future. (Who knows I may even decide to open my own box- lol).

So for now, I’m fine with doing WODs on my own.  Every morning I look to see what the WOD is on the mainpage, and sometimes I just get inspired.

My husband and I have been piecing together a home gym.  First we found a squat rack.


Then we bought an Olympic bar with weights.  Then we bought a nice 1″ foam mat for the floor.

And then he built us a box.  20″x24″x28″.


So here is tonight’s workout:

5 rounds, for time:
10 burpees
10 pushups
10 pullups
10 box jumps
10 sit ups
10 air squats

Lungs were burning.  Check!  Sweat dripping.  Check!  Heart Pumping.  Check!  Mission accomplished.

Then we finished off the day with a little Yoga X from P90X.

One final note:  As much as I love the WordPress app, I don’t love the pictures that my phone takes.  I love that I was able to post this entire blog from my phone, start to finish, pictures and all.  But I do apologize for the quality of the photos.


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