Friday, October 26, 2012

Another Christmas Title w/ 3 Features

Christmas in Apple Ridge - Cindy Woodsmall

 Christmas in Apple Ridge by Cindy Woodsmall is three novels in 1 book. Two of the books have already been previously released in stand alone books and I have already read and reviewed The Christmas Singing.

The first story The Sound of Sleighbells is the story of Beth Hertzler who is unable to let go of her finance who passed away due to an accident. Beth is deeply wounded and is having a difficult time in her mourning. Her aunt operates a local shop in town and has a wonderful artist who carves wood. When she sees a large carving of children play in snow, Beth is drawn into Jonahs work. Does Beth get to meet this mystery man? Is their a chance for a romance to kindle in this story? Does Beth get a happy ending?? Need to read the book!

The second Story is called the Christmas Singing! 

The two main Characters are Mattie in Gideon who grew up as best friends and eventually got engaged to one another. One evening Mattie goes home to surprised Gideon, but is completely suprised herself and finds him with another woman so they end their engagement. Mattie completely broken hearted moves to Ohio to live with her brother and his family. This leads her to opening up a baking store and she becomes very focused on creating a career out of her passion. However, her store catches on fire which forces her to think about moving back home. Returning home, means facing her fears from her past and seeing Gideon again. Will she be able to move forward? or Will it lead her to more heartbreak? 


The third and final story which is brand new is called The Dawn of Christmas. This title is new. This is the story of Sadie who is single and loves her life doing mission work. Her family believes it is time for her to set some roots, meet someone and get married. Sadie is not loving this idea. Levi is a man who has watched too many of his friends get hurt by the women they love. He is not ready to risk his heart to have it ripped away like his friend Andy and watch his son be without his mother. Levi doesn't want to take that kind of a risk..  Will him and Sadie get together or will the two independent spirits clash? The only way to find out, is to read the book! 

Thank you Waterbook for providing a free review copy. I am not compensated to provide a positive review.

Christma books

I know it's a little early to start thinking about Christmas, but the stores already have Christmas books, cd, wrapping paper, gifts, cookies and other things to get the season rolling.. As a blogger, I am getting ready too...

I am going to start by giving you a preview of some upcoming Christmas titles... Take a look and see if any of these are of interest to you! 

 A Marriage of The Heart:

Contains three different stories including:
A Perfect Rose
Christmas Cradles
A Marriage of the Heart
 A Marriage of the Heart

Since this book does contain three different stories, I could write a novel about each and give you my review, but I am going to pick the story I liked the best.  I loved that this book included three stories.. I love books that have multiple stories, I feel like I am getting more for my $$.

My favorite story was A Marriage of the Heart, which is the third story in this book. Abigail has lived with her father since the death of her mother at five years old. She feels like she cannot live in the farmhouse and experiences a deep emptiness. She wants out and has a plan on how to succeed. Jospeh Lambert is new resident to her close knit community and she finds him to be the perfect scapegoat for her situation. Abby tells a lie to her father who she knows will force marriage, when she is married to Joseph,  she has to figure out how to make her marriage work. Joseph struggles with a tough addiction, but is he able to over come? Abby wants to escape her life from her father, does the marriage provide her the escape she is looking for?  Will Abby trust Joseph and will their marriage last a life time?? The only way to find out, is to read this book! 

Thanks to booksneeze for allowing me to review this book. This is my honest opinion and I was not compensated for this book.

Susanna's Christmas Wish 

Susanna's Christmas Wish

 This book is a cute little Amish Christmas novel about a woman named Susanna Keim and Herman Wagler who are recently married. Disagreements begin to present challenges in their marriage and Susanna is struggling with her feelings. Herman is not a big fan of the Christmas traditions Susanna's family holds. He believes that they should not follow her family traditions. Susanna is upset at the idea of not being able to spend Christmas with her parents. An old flame of Suannas come back into the picture and Susanna is left wondering did she make a mistake? Why is Matthew Yoder back in the community? Does he want re-kindle the flame or leave it? Susanna is confused about her current predicament, but wants to be respect her husbands guidance despite her holiday traditions.. Will these two work though these issues or will Matthew bring a fork in the road that will make Susanna think otherwise? Thank you Harvest House for allowing me to review this book. The opinions expressed are my own.

Paper Angels:

Paper Angels: A Novel 

Paper Angels is not a newly released book, but is for the paperback edition.  Want to get into the holiday spirit? This book is sure to get you feeling hopeful in a situation that seems hopeless. Kevin Morrell and his wife are shopping through the mall when they stumble across the Salvation Army Angel Tree project and see the paper ornaments on the tree. Kevin's wife decides they should take a paper ornament off the tree. They pick the name of a Thomas Brandt, who is a fifteen year old boy coping with instability of an alcoholic father and a mother who has been trying to provide for him and his sister. She has been holding up by a thread. His mother has faith in God and her faith has kept her going, despite deep family struggles. This story is about the kindness of two strangers that change the life of a young boy. 

I loved this book and I love Salvation Army! Angel Tree is a national organization that helps out many needy families.. To find out how to get involved or learn more about this awesome organization, go here!! 

Thank you Howard Publishing Company for allowing me to review the true meaning of Christmas!

 The Ghost of Christmas Present:

This is book is about an 8 year old boy, Braden Guthrie who needs a heart operation due to an enlarged heart, which caused the death of his mother. Patrick, his father is determined to get his son the operation.

When Patrick returns to his drama teaching job, he finds his classroom empty because the school had to let go of teachers due to budget cuts. He is determined and desperate to help his son. A social worker shows up at his door, he owns back rent, utility payments are past due and are threatening to turn off if payment isn't made or if he fails to show proof of employment. Patrick is stuck and does not want to have to go to his Father in Law, Ted Cake for the money to help Braden. Patrick believes that his father in law is behind the PS worker and is trying to take Braden away. Ted is already mad at the death of his daughter and blames Patrick.

What does Patrick do? He goes to the streets as the Ghost of Christmas present and begins performing to touch the lives who come through the streets in hopes of helping him in a dark situation.

Does Braden get the heart operation and can he resolve issues with his former father in law? 

I received this book complimentary of Howard Books. Thank you providing me this review copy.

Love Finds you at Home for Christmas including two tales:

Sweet Southern Christmas

Small Town Christmas

Love Finds You at Home for Christmas

 Sweet Southern Christmas is the story of Ruby McFadden who works at the Arkansas ordinance plant during World War II. She is attracted to Cliff Hamilion who is grieving the lost of his little brother, Charlie. Charlie protected Cliff through an explosion and Cliff is dealing with the guilt of losing his brother and being the one who lived through the tragic incident. Ruby is falling in love with Cliff as she learns about him, but will he be able grieve the loss of his brother and open his heart again to the idea of love? If his feelings develop, will Ruby be ready to take a chance at love again?  This is a great little Christmas romance that will make you feel good.. I love these kinds of stories!

Small- Town Christmas is the story of Sophie Harper who returns to Arkansas after a long time away. Her former marriage by Stephen deteriorated and left her to return home in hopes of starting over again. She runs into a former childhood friend, Jon Anthony who rekindles something inside of her. She receives a phone call that Stephens father is dying of Cancer and Stephen asks Sophie to come. Will Stephen and Sophie put back the pieces to their marriage or does God have a plan for Jon?? You need to read this book! Super cute! I read both of these stories very quickly.. Great stories with a great message!

Thank you Summerside Press for providing me this great Christmas romance novel! You will love these stories!

Hope you enjoyed these 5 Christmas titles! Any one of these books will get you into the spirit of Christmas!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Disney Princess Half Medal Revealed

Yesterday, I got an email revealing the Disney Princess Half Marathon medal! My day at work was nuts and by the time I came home, I could only squeeze enough energy to eat, run and sleep.. Wasn't my best day.. Anyways, I think this medal is so cool.. Also, it's an anniversary medal too! It's the 5th year of the Princess Half!!

The email also mentioned something else that is really cool... Disney is having a contest for a package of four to win a night in Cinderella's castle! How cool is that??

I also know it includes a meet & greet w/ Jeff Galloway, Disney Gift cards, Pasta in the park and a 2 night stay at Animal Kingdom lodge..

The race is presented by Lady foot locker, go here to register!

How many of you are running this?? I would love to do this, but we already already running the Marathon in January, so I don't think this is going to happen for us..

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Stigma against Walking

As a runner, I have learned that you have to experiment with your running to find the best solution for you. Some people run fast, some people run slow, but isn't it all the same??? As long as your out there running and improving your health, isn't that what counts??

Some runners would agree that walking makes you just as much a runner, as the the guy who runs the entire time..  Others may argue that walking doesn't make you a true runner and may even be shocked to here that you walk... Why is there a stigma attached with walking breaks???

I have a different opinion.. 

As a runner, I have found that I run faster if I take a 30 sec or 1 minute walk after every 10 minutes of running. Slowing down allows me to concentrate on my breathing and even makes me faster than pushing through a super slow pace when the mileage gets long..  I had not trained this way until this past January when I was training for Riverbank (15.5 miles).. By doing this, I actually ran faster by 15 minutes, which is incredible!!! 

I have found that walking works for me and my body. It allows my body to slow down and then get back out there running hardcore.. I am proud of it! I don't think it is something to be ashamed of and if people out there think its awful, then trying training for a Marathon and tell me what you think.. It's not as easy as it looks..
Would I love to run the entire time? Yes, but it isn't the best for my body.. I have found my pace can be incredibly slow, especially when I get into the deeper mileage.. I can go from a 10-11 minute pace to a 14-15 minute pace if I don't slow down...

Why is there such a stigma against WALKING?? I don't understand it..

Saturday, my husband and I ran 17 miles... This is the farthest I have ever gone as a runner.. We are training for our first marathon at Disney World in January.... The fact we were able to complete despite all odd stacked against us, makes me super proud!! Did I take walking breaks? Yes, and did it suck as a I got towards the end?? Yep. The farther the miles went, the easier it was to keep running then walking.. It took more energy to stop and walk, then to keep going, but did the walking breaks help me in the beginning? Yes, totally! The walking breaks kept me motivated, on pace and broke up the distance.. It didn't seem so long then...

I am so proud of our accomplishments this weekend.. My husband has been only running since August! He is a product of I can! When you put your mind to it, anything is possible!!

What do you think about walking breaks?? Are you opposed to them??

Thursday, October 18, 2012

How do you, self care??

With the ever demands of life, self care can be crucial to keeping your mind, body and spirit healthy... Life is about maintaining a balance, which is so hard!!! When you don't take care of yourself, you begin to lead a life of stress, which can cause all sorts of physical and psychological issues.

I am struggling with balancing my life... My new job demands a lot of emotional energy and it has been requiring a lot of mental strength that is wearing on me... My to do list grows each day and I feel so behind! I can't get anything done and the more I don't get done, the more it sits for the next week.. It is very frustrating... As kids act up, I get less done and right when I get to a place of feeling like I have accomplished something, 20 things pile up again!

Work has been a struggle and so has exercise... I was able to get a run in this week and 1 yoga session. I am very happy with my run on Tuesday.. I got a new PR on my first mile! 
I'll take the victories where and when they come! We must celebrate even the small things in life!!!

I was so close to being in the 8 minute mile range! I was so excited, I tried so hard, but couldn't get to the 1 mile marker fast enough!! Maybe next week!!!! This Saturday we are scheduled to run 17 miles! I hope we can do it! This will be my longest run to date!

I am so sick of the rain here! It rains all the time and I hate running inside! No way am I going to run 17 miles on a treadmill. . THE WEATHER BETTER BE GOOD!!!

With this whole idea of self care, I have been spending a lot of time reading and trying to learn how to take care of myself. The more I help others, the more I need to re-charge my own  batteries..

This week I read The Queen of Katwe and even bought a bottle of OPI nail polish, which I would never do because it is so expensive.. First, let me tell you about this book and then show you my new nail polish..

The Queen of Katwe: A Story of Life, Chess, and One Extraordinary Girl's Dream of Becoming a Grandmaster

The Queen of Katwe  is about Phiona Mutesi, a national chess champion at the age of 15. She is from Uganda slum and has lived in a country where hope is hard to find. She has faced things that we here in the United States cannot even fathom. AIDS is a very prevalent her country and often she is the one responsible to provide for her family. Chess has been able to provide her the ability to survive by helping to provide food or keeping a shelter over her families head.

Reading through this book, one gains a greater attitude of gratitude and humility while reading this book. This book really challenges one to look at the finer things in life and not so worry about stuff, but to be thankful for where one is at... Phiona's story is sad, but also brings a light of hope in a dark situation. 

Despite her countries poverty and her in ability to get a education, she starts to learn to play chess by a former refugee, Robert Katende. Chess becomes a way of life for Phiona. She feels empowered by learning about each piece and utilizing precision to move each peace in a way that nothing else does.  She was able to travel to Russia to participate in the Chess Olympiad, which is a very prestigious event in chess. She developed a love and intensity for the game that others do not have. Imagine for the first time sleeping in a bed or utilizing a toilet or eating out a restaurant. The things we take for granted, are the things that Phiona dreams about. These things keep Phiona hopefully and continuing forward in her journey to become a chess master.

This book will bring you on an emotional journey from feeling sorrow for Phionia to feeling empowered that anything is possible. It helps me to see that change can happen and one person can make a difference. 

Despite the difficulties I face with students and families, I can make a difference.. This book has made me believe in the power of one individual.

Reading provides me great self care..

I also mentioned I bought a bottle of OPI nailpolish... I never buy this nail polish because it is so expensive..I cant imagine paying $9 a bottle, but I had a coupon, so I made a SPLURGE!

This color is called "Happy Anniversary", which is a silvery white nail polish that reflects beautiful in the sun. With a couple of coats, it looks very white with silver specks. It reminds me of a beautiful Christmas silver nail polish. I light lighter colors on my nails and darker colors for my toe nails. Having small fingers, I don't wear darker colors or else people notice easily..

As I am learning the art of self-care, I am wondering how you take care of yourself mentally, physically and spiritually??? What are your tips for stress relief?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Bridge

Are you a Karen Kingsbury fan? I know millions of people are and I think her books are fantastic!

I had the opportunity to review her newest title The Bridge, which is a Christmas novel.. I was more than thrilled. First, I love all things Christmas and second to review one of her books, I knew I was in for a treat...

The Bridge is about this couple Charlie and Donna Barton who own a little book store called "The Bridge." As the poor economy and  flood hit the store, Charlie Barton was left with no choice but to look into closing the store. His books were ruined, he couldn't afford to get the store back into its original shape and could no longer pay the bills. One night, on his way home from the bookstore, he decided it was time to move on and that night as he headed home he wanted to give up, he hit some black ice, and his life was forever changed..

Ryan Kelly is a country musician who performs and tours with groups. He used to be in love with Molly Allen, but her father pushed him away. He remembers the moments when him and Molly use to spend hours at the Bridge. When Ryan hears of the tragic news about The Bridge bookstore, he immediately realizes he has to do something to help out the Bartons. He begins to tweet, write letters to old friends and customers of Mr. Bartons to see if he could help out the book store..

What happens next?  Well, you need to read the book and find out.. Is The Bridge going to reopen? Does Mr. Barton survive the car accident?? Do Molly and Ryan end up together?? 

Read the book, you won't be sorry.

Thank you Howard Publishing for allowing me to review this book early!

Where are you?

If you are goal tracking this month, where are you with your goals??? I wanted to give an update on my 101 in 1001 days goal! I think I am finally getting somewhere!!

101 in 1001

101 Goals in 1001 Days
I have goals for my life and I will mark the progress of these goals over the next two years. I challenge you to join me in the journey.

Start Date: March 27, 2011
End Date: December 25, 2013 

1. Finish my Social Work Limited License (4000 hours) Close to completing 2000

2. Pass my Licensure Exam
3. Get a school Social Work Job (June 2012)

4. Develop and Design a workbook on Anger for Kids

5. Learn photo shop
6. Blog every day for a month  January 2012
7. Host a giveaway on my blog (January 9, 2012)

8. Inspire someone else to do 101 in 1001 day  Check out Brittany's blog

9. Purchase a new Desktop Mac Computer

10. Organize bathroom and find a new, efficient way to store towels.  May 8, 2011

11.  Hang 5 pictures on the wall (5/5) September 29,2011

12. Keep the kitchen floor clean for 1 week

13.  Learn how to use the grill

14. Try to cook 30 new recipes (5/30) Greek Yogurt Recipe, Taco Salad, Avocada Dip, Pumkin Chocolate Chip Muffins, Mac & Cheese Progressive Sauce

15. Cook homemade meals for every weekend for a month.

16. Organize my computer files (August, 2011, did this while Drew was one a long conversation with comcast)

17. Get rid of unnecessary items filling clutter September 20,2011

18. Go to bed at 9pm for a week straight  (November 1-7 2011)

19. Fit comfortably in a size 6  (Currently, between an 8-10)

20. Lose 30lbs (15 down)

21. Run a Marathon

22. Drink only water for 2 weeks.  (January 1-14, 2011)

23.  Inspire someone else to lose weight.

24. Get a flatter stomach

25. Eat breakfast for a week straight. (Entire Month of December 2011, this is weird)

26. Be confident in a bikini.

27. Count Weight Watchers Points faithfully for 1month
28. Finish writing my children’s book.
29. Learn how to use my Digital SLR Camera
29. Make our wedding Scrapbook

30. Buy a sewing machine.
 31. Learn how to use a sewing machine.

32. Make up my own social skill activities for 8 lessons (8/8) Completed  June 1, 2011

33.  Send 30 cards to people expectantly (19/30)

34.Rent/ Watch 50 new movies (34/50
Despecable Me
The Back up Plan
Christmas in Wonderland
How do you know?
Christmas Cottage
Grown Ups
Denis the Menace Christmas
Christmas Dogs
It's the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown 
Mall Cop 
Old Dogs 
Life As We Know it 
Call Me Mrs. Miracle
Spooky Buddies
On Strike for Christmas
The Gift of the Magi
Just Go with It
Just Wright
Little Fockers
Morning Glory
New Years Eve
Purple Violets
The Christmas Lodge
Trading Christmas
Surviving Christmas
Capital C for Christmas 
Leap Year
Sleepless in Seattle
We Bought a Zoo
What to expect when your expecting
White Christmas
The Vow
Puppy Love

35.Go to the Library 1x a month for 6months (5/6 March 26, 2011, April 22, 2010, May 6, 2010, June 6, 2011, July 18, 2011, August 5, 2011)

36. Try 5 new restauran 5/5 
1) Long Horn Steak House (January 2012)
2) Penn Station Subshop (May 2012)
3) Chik Fil A (July 2012)
4) Margarita Mexican (July 2012)
5) Freeze (July 2012)

37. Go to a Hockey Game

38. Go on a date with Drew each weekend for a month (0/4) (December 2011)

39. Stay home for entire weekend without leaving (January 2012)

40. Read 100 new books (43/100)
1. Life without Limits
2. Love at Last Sight
3. Chocolate Diaries
4. Max on Life
5. Unleashed
6. Sister Chicks Sombreros
7. Departures, Sierra Jensen and Christy Miller
8) A Cowboys Touch
9. Leaving- Karen Kingsbury
10. Learning- Karen Kingsbury
11.  The Christmas List
12. The Accidental Bride
13. Longing- Karen Kingsbury 
14. 1000 Gifts 
15. Miracles for Jen 
16. A love that Multiplies 
17. Finally & Forever
18. Hunger Games
19. A billion reasons 
20. Cottage by the Sea 
21. Stress Points
22. Insecurity-- Beth Moore
23 Wish you were here
24. Winning Balance
25. The Perfect Christmas
26. The Beautiful Wife
27. Simple Secrets to a Happy Life
28. A wedding on Mackinaw Island
29) The Harbinger
30) Love Finds you in Alaska
31) My Stubborn Heart
34) Return
35) October Baby
36) Pony for Christmas
37) Trouble with Cowboys
38) The Bridge
39) Love finds you on Christmas Morning
40) Smitten
41) Under the Mistletoe
42) Holiday in Flordia
43)  Love finds you in the North Pole

41. Read my Bible every day for a month January 2012

42. Read “1000 Gifts” February 2012
43. Pray together with my husband at least 2 nights a week for a month.

44. Go on a girl’s vacation with Rachel & Mom (Great Wolf Lodge July 2011)

45. Have professional pictures taken of Drew and I 1x every year (0/3)

46. Meet 5 new people (April 2012)

47.Play a board game Candy Land- Connor & Sidney September 2011

 48. Go on a family vacation with my parents

49.Go to a museum

50. Go snorkeling with fish

51. Go to 5 different states 1/5
(Flordia 2011)
 (Georgia 2012)

52. Go out of the country

53. Take a Cruise

54. Send Children’s Book to Publishers

55. Cook out of a cook book for a week

56. Pay off three more student loans (Would like to become completely debt free at somepoint)

57. Stick to a monthly budget for 6months (2012)

58. Buy Curtains for our living room Bought them and returned them. Decided it looked better with out curtains. May 18, 2011

59.Build a Snowman

60. Call in Sick to work (not to be sick, but just to take the day off)  January 18,2011 (Took the day off b/c was unsure how I would do on 6 steroid pills)

61. Go to a Bingo hall and play Bingo

62. Buy and re-read a book from my childhood (The three Kitten who lost their mittens)

63. Visit a Zoo Detroit Zoo- April 2012)

64. Organize my book shelf  (April 2011)

65. Buy a new car( new to me, can be used) Bought our 2009 Vibe

66.  Buy a lottery ticket for fun (December 2011)

67. Read 4 self helps books  (April 2012)
1) God Loves Broken People
2 Insecurity
3) Successful Women think Differently
4)When a Woman Let's go of her fears

68. Sleep a week straight without getting up in the middle of night (July 6-13, 2011)

69. Cut and Color my hair (August, 2011)

70. Organize my scrapbooking supplies  (April 18, 2011)

71. Stop biting my nails  February 2012

72. Paint my fingernails 1x a month for 6months (March 18, 2011, April 22, 2011, May 8, 2011, June 6, 2011, July 5, 2011, August 1, 2011))

73. Buy new lipstick  January 2012

74. Wear makeup for a week straight  (Oct 5-12,2011)

75. Clean up my language  (Thank you rez life)

76. Go Christmas Caroling

77. Stop being critical of myself

78. Get Life Insurance (Bought Drew Life Insurance,  I cannot buy life insurance due to my medical history.

79.  Give my blog a transformation ( April 9, 2011)

80. Get a diagnosis for my passing out episodes (June 2011, Seizures)

81. Go Ice skating

82. Keep my email inbox to 0 emails

83.  Complete my “Wreck this Journal”

84. Complete a coloring book

85.  Do a random act of kindness for 10 people (2/10, March 26, 2011- Huge Tip for Waitress at Fridays, Tip for Waitress at Applebees December 2011 )

86. Finish a 1000 jigsaw puzzle

87.  Fly a Kite

89.  Get my picture taken with Santa

90.  Get a new cell phone (June 2011)

91. Make Monkey Bread

92.  Paint on a Canvas (May 4, 2011)

93. Visit Disney World (July 2011)

94.  Make a family Tree

95. Go to a Casino ( August 2012)

96.  Learn to French Braid

97. Donate $1 to Charity for each item I do not complete on this list

98.  Buy an expensive camera lens

99. Change my name

100.  Have a pampered chef party ( May 6, 2011)

101. Give up candy for a month ( as I am eating a bowl full of jelly beans at the moment)

How are your goals?

Monday, October 15, 2012

Blurr Week Part 2

As I mentioned in my post yesterday, this past week felt so crazy I am not sure I had a pulse.. Honestly, I don't where the week went.

The weather is really getting me down. .I am tired of the continual down pouring of rain.. I am thankful for the grass, but my runs are not happening.. With 3 months till the Disney Marathon, I am still feeling very nervous about where things are at in my training.. I am doing the best I can, but I am still feeling very overwhelmed about 26.2 miles... 

 This week we have been celebrating my husband's birthday on several occasions... So my eating has tanked! I can admit, I have not eaten healthy, it has been awful!!!

We went to Arnies for Lunch and had their chicken, which is delicious! They have great soup too!! 

                                           Yup, I even at the fries too.. Sigh.. 
 This past weekend, we went over to my in-laws for birthday dinner, followed by ordering Pizza when we babysat Saturday night.  Sunday morning at church we had Pop/corn and pop, followed by a dessert and more pizza at my parents house! This week, my eating has been awful..

I will say this, I have done great at not eating candy.. We have a bowl of Candy corn and I haven't had the desire to touch it!! Usually, it's gone! I am proud of myself..

Also this week, I got to skype with Paris and Kennedy! I miss those kiddos! Look at how big miss. Paris is? She is going to be 1 in November!!

 It's Monday and I am not going to let last weeks bad eating habits get me down! I am going to pick myself up and move forward! With that in mind, I think I am going back to cleaning eat again.. Whole grain foods, fruits, vegetables and lean meats! I need to drop some poundage for the marathon!!

How have you been doing on your eating habits???

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Blurr Week Part 1

Ever have those weeks where life feels like a blurr??? I can't believe we have arrived to Sunday already.... Where did the week go?? Let me catch you up on some life stuff..

This week, exercise has hit the tank, which isn't the best for marathon training.. I got a 3mile run in and 1 yoga workout ... Not the best.. I am striving for more this week... I thinking the yucky weather has kept me from getting out there.. The rain has been horrible this week.. I hope for better weather this week.. Saturday we have 17 miles! YIKES!

I was contacted a couple of weeks ago by someone at Progressive Soup asking me if I would be willing to try their new starter sauces?? I was more than thrilled and have made my first recipe! 

          They sent me this entire box with five different cans! It has different recipes on each can, plus a little recipe book and a great wooden spoon!

Here are step by step directions with pictures for your convenience! This is so easy and a great carb loading meal for runners who love Mac & Cheese!

Here is what you will need to get started:

1 can of Progressive Creamy Three Cheese Cooking Sauce
1/2 cup of milk
1/4 teaspoon of garlic
1 1/2 Shredded Sharp Cheese
2 oz of Cheese Loaf Shredded
Progressive Italian Style Crumbs
1/2 Red Bell Pepper if desired.

First, you need the Cheese Recipe Starter cooking sauce can. Pre-Heat the oven to 400 degrees and spray a 2 quart casserole dish with cooking spray.

In a pot, boil water for the noodles...

In a 3 quart sauce pan, heat cooking sauce, milk and garlic to a bowl. Remove from heat and stir in cheese until it is melted...

Stir in pasta and bell pepper.. You can add Bacon too, but I don't like bacon, so I omitted that from the recipe.

Put the pasta in your casserole dish and bake in the over for 20 minutes .

After it is done baking, let it set for about 10 minutes or until it is cool and then sprinkle on the Progress Italian Style Bread crumbs with your hand and you will love this Mac and Cheese!! So delicious! 

Thank you to the wonderful people at Progressive Soups! I cannot wait to make more recipes with the other sauces.. Keep checking back for another recipe soon!

I've got part 2 coming tomorrow of Blurr week..

How has your exercise workout been going??

Saturday, October 13, 2012

She's Got Issues

If your a woman, chances are you've had to deal with some "issues" in your life. Insecurity, fear, comparison, anger, un-forgiveness, bitterness, and control are many of the "issues" that    ministry Leader, Nicole Unice touches on in her book and in her new Dvd Curriculum. 

She's Got Issues: Seriously Good News for Stressed-Out, Secretly Scared Control Freaks Like Us

Nicole Unice is a mother, counselor and a leader who is honest and real about the struggles that women face. At some point, we all have an issue we struggle with and as much as we want to hide them, it doesn't make it any easier. Nicole doesn't hide behind the fact that these issues are something one can easily get over, but instead we need to bring these issues out in the open to deal with them. She describes each issue in great detail in the book and dvd in order for us to be transformed and closer to God. She is very honest, has a sense of humor and is authentic in her own personal journey through her own "issues."

In the book, each chapter deals with a different issues and is followed by prayer, journaling activities and discussion questions. I would recommend this for a Bible Study. The discussion questions allows for one to really reflect and dig deep into the "issues."  Each chapter has scripture reflecting on the issue, but also scripture to combat the issues one is struggling with. The scripture helps to recall on, especially when dealing when dealing an issue arises during the day. The book also contains picture code that you can use your smartphone to visit the link online. .Very cool!

The dvd is equally as enjoyable as the book.  The DVD contains six teaching that compliment the book. Control, insecurity, comparison, anger and un forgivness are the six teachings on the DVD. This includes a participant guide and is perfect for a small group. It has handouts for a Bible study group and includes a leaders guide. 

I highly recommend the book and DVD set. 

I received this complimentary copy from Tyndale. The oponions expressed our my own and I was not compensated for a positive review.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

When things don't go as planned...

Happy Sunday! I can't believe it's October 7th!!! Wow??? Two months till Christmas! Time is flying !

This weekend was my Husband's Birthday!! We celebrated in several different ways yesterday!! 

First, we attempted a 15 mile run.... In the mitten, it is very cold here! Temps were in the 40's yesterday morning with high wind gusts and spitting rain! Honestly, I thought it might snow..  The leaves are changing colors and it's beautiful, except for the grey skies..

The first six miles, I told myself if we get through six, I will be happy, since the weather was so cold.. During the first six miles, I listened to a great podcast by Joyce Meyer on our words and how words can be so powerful. It was a great listen.. It challenged me to stop complaining because I am so blessed!!!

The wind was so cold, I had a long sleeve shirts, my winter running coat, pants and a hat.. That wasn't enough.. The weather was so unpredictable that after our first six mile loop, we stopped home to get headbands, winter hats and gloves to cover our FREEZING ears & hands!! 

After we stopped home, I felt a lot more warmer and was ready to continue the next 9 miles.. I was determined to make the full 15 miles.... I felt more confident and was excited. The wind continued to pick up and we endured spitting rain, but we kept going.. My legs started to cramp up and I could tell my body was not functioning as usual.. My breathing got worse, my knees were screaming at me and my husband's feet were hurting... 

My body was still trying to recover from being sick from the past two weeks.. The crud is going around at school and everyone I talk to or read about on FB is sick...

 Upon coming to the end of our 12 miles, I told my husband I could push and go the other 3, but it would be painful and really slow...  Or we could walk the final 3, didn't matter to me..

After heing and hawing we decided to head for home..  Was I disappointed? Yes! Am I mad? No... Just was excited about the idea of only having 3 more long runs, now I have to adjust our schedule, but that is okay..

After our long run we went out to Red Robin, took a nap and headed to my parents to see my sister and her boyfriend! She is a junior and it was Homecoming!!

Drew and I had a great Saturday celebrating his birthday! Disappointed in our run, but glad it's over and hoping my body will get stronger and healthier soon!!

What fitness goals have disappointed you?? How did you pick yourself back up???

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

I'm not much of a cook. It's no secret that I would rather just grab something out of the freezer to eat..  However, we all know that isn't the healthiest option.. Lately, I think I've gained a couple of pounds..

I have this mindset that if I run, I can eat whatever I want, but I am finding that is trouble thinking and it has made me put a couple of extra pounds on.. No worries!! This month is clean eating for me... 

With that said, I found this healthy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip recipe.. The most unhealthy part, chocolate chips..

These are so simple to make!

Ingredients : Only 3 things!

1) Large can of Pumpkin - 30 oz.

 2) Bag of Chocolate Chips

3) Two boxes of Spice Cake Mix!

 1) Pour the Spice cake mix into a large bowl.

2) Then add the pumpkin mix into the bowl.

3) Mix the pumpkin with the Spice cake.. I found a mixer works much better than a spoon.. The directions say to fold the pumpkin into the cake mix, but it didn't work out so good.. 

4) Add chocolate chips in the mix! Mix all together..

Put in the oven at 350 for 20-22 minutes! Super moist muffins.. Also, these are only 2 points plus weight watcher !!! YUMM!!

ENJOY!!! So good! Pumpkin is a great source of FIBER!!! Happy October! 

What are you favorite easy pumpkin recipes?