Nov 26, 2014

My Unexpected Thanksgiving Blessing, From the Bottom of My Heart

My father has a mental illness that has not been diagnosed.  OK, so I am the one who made the diagnosis but let me just say I am usually right.  Maybe I should be a psychologist.  He displays signs and symptoms of a person with bipolar disorder but he is from a day in age where people never went to the doctor for chemical imbalances because it was a shame to have a "crazy" person in the family.  Let alone to BE the crazy person.

Photo Credit

I would never want to talk negatively about my family and I am going to share a story or two because there is a happy ending in it.  One so happy that I am eternally grateful for it.  One that I am so grateful for I can never repay.

Let me back up some and explain some circumstances surrounding the situation I am about to tell you about.  All my life my dad was volatile and we always walked on egg shells because none of us knew what kind of mood he was in.  He always says it is because he is a Gemini but it is much deeper than that.   He has mood swings where one minute he is joking, then instantly angry, then sorry for being a jerk - and even crying over being so mean.  Only to repeat the cycle.  My whole life.  He used to order the TV guide (remember those - ha) and he ordered it for himself as the rest of us did not read it.  When it expired he would throw it on the living room floor.  And leave it there.

As young kids, my brother and I were extremely well behaved.  It was a requirement.  We did as we were told and did not talk back.  If we saw the TV guide on the ground we picked it up and threw it away.  Until we got older and sick of the sh*t.  At which point we began stepping over it and around it.  This would anger him.  After it sat for a couple of days, untouched, he was outraged that everyone in the house would just leave it there.  The audacity of us, right?  This was also around the age that I began standing up for myself.  Shouting back.  Pointing out the obvious that had he wanted it to be thrown away he should've gotten off his @ss and done it.  Yet, instead it got thrown on the ground as if to say "Scum, pick that sh!t up!!".

Photo Credit

You can imagine, this did not go over well.  But guess what?  I was getting tired of it and so was my brother.  This is just an example of the debauchery we grew up in.  This is not a favorable time in my life so I choose not to relive it.  Truth be told, I developed a terrible addiction as a result of my home life.  I did not blame anybody but myself.  I did not point fingers or say that it was a result of my childhood.  I owned it and I GOT THROUGH IT.  On my own.  No help from my dad - who actually said nasty things to make it worse.  For the record, I overcame it but that is another story all in its own.

This is not the point of today's post, it is just a little background because the real story I think is even worse.  It has a happy ending, don't worry.  Fast forward a lot of years and my mom passes at the age of 45 yrs old.  I was about 26 yrs old.  I was the strong one in the family and also non-materialistic.  So it wasn't so bad when my dad spent all of her pension instead of disbursing it to my brother and I, per my mother's wishes.  It was just money and I would rather have my mom than the money anyway so I blew it off. 


My brother and I were roommates in a small house with no security or safe or anything so my dad was holding her jewelry in his safe at his house until we had a place to put it or wanted to do something with it.  The day came when I wanted to have some of her keepsakes around AND I had a safe space to put it.  I contacted my dad and asked for it.  To which he told me it was gone.  He told me that my brother and I 'didn't want it' so it was gone.  He gave it to his girlfriend at the time.

I was crushed.  Devastated.   I was young and dumb but I thought I was being wise by leaving those precious pieces in a safe environment.  Not that I had burglars in and out of my house but a safe is way safer than a box in my closet or dresser drawer.... which I didn't really have space for anyway.  So my mom is gone and so is her stuff.  At the time she passed, I did not believe in keeping a lot of items from the deceased.  It isn't really healthy to keep all their stuff like a shrine so I kept a few articles of clothing and that was it.  My dad had her kitchenware, etc.

I have harbored this knowledge - that her jewelry is gone- for over a year.  I reached out to the x to talk to her by phone but I was conflicted because it is not appropriate to ask somebody to give back something that was a gift to them.  Then I remind myself - it was not my dad's to give away.  And it is not like I am asking her to give me some random piece of jewelry that my dad gave her.  I wanted to ask for my mom's stuff back.  But I felt so weird because it just doesn't feel right to ask for stuff back.  I finally decided I would, at least, ask.  When I called she was at work and when she returned my call I was at work.  This went on for a couple days.  I gave up.

This morning I was thinking about it again.  Thinking about my mother's final days and how much I miss her.  How I wish I would have seen her more in her final days.  Regrets.  Tons of them.  Guilt.  Lots of it.  I should've been there with her more.  I was working and going through a breakup and it was hard for me to see my mom sick.  I did not want to see her that way.  I also thought she would get better, like she had before.  But she didn't. 

I was thinking about her, missing her, wishing she was there to share my life with and I don't even have much by way of keepsakes.  I make a snap decision and text the x.  By the way, she is a nice lady.  I ask if I can call in a few minutes on my way to work and she says yes.

I tell her that I found out my father gave her this jewelry and it wasn't his to give and it bothers me he did such a thing.  I tell her that I feel weird making this call because I don't believe in asking for things back but he shouldn't have given it away.  My heart begins to weep and my words dry up.  I squeak out, asking if she can find it in her heart - and right there I break down.  Suddenly, I can no longer speak.    I was just fine in my previous sentences.  Clear and polite.  No problem with my speech.  Imperfectly prepared.  I start choking and crying.  She stops me and she says,
"Tricia, stop right there.  You don't even have to ask".  "That jewelry was your mother's and it should be yours.  I never wanted it in the first place.  Your dad insisted I have it and then began talking about melting it down to have it made into something else.  When he started talking about that I decided I would take it and hold it for when you or your brother called". 

I was SO RELIEVED.  All the feelings of sadness disappeared.  And missing the last piece of memorabilia that I had of her went away.  I felt gratitude and blessing.  I felt the love and warmth of another person who wants to do good.  I felt happy.  SO happy.  I was just overwhelmed with thanks and blessing and appreciation.  I cannot express how overjoyed I was to hear I could have my mom's stuff back.  All the regret for 'not holding onto it myself' disappeared.  I was in my early 20s and I was dumb.  This woman has made me such a happy person and I cannot thank her enough.

Her daughter said that God must have put her in his life for a reason.  The reason being to return my mother's belongings to my brother and I.  A huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders.  A burden that I carry is slightly removed.   I have received the greatest gift!  I am ecstatic that I will be able to see her things, touch them and know where they are at all times!

This means I can smile.  It is important to remember that despite the crap, life is actually beautiful!  I have A LOT to be thankful for.  A crummy situation turned into a good one and that seems to be what life is all about as well.  I am not really sure what lesson I will learn from this but I know there is a lesson to be learned about everything.  All I know is blessings coming larger than life itself and this is one of them!

What do you think - what lesson should I learn here?

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Nov 25, 2014

5 Reasons to Eat Turkey on Thanksgiving

Oh me, oh my!  Thanksgiving is two DAYS away.  Some of us will be practicing eating as much as we can -and preparing for it by wearing loose fitting pants.  Maybe even stretch pants and a sweatshirt.... nice touch guys.  hehee.  Me, I am planning to eat.  Yes I am.  I am planning to be full as hell so that afterward I wish I had not eaten so much.  Well, maybe not quite that full but despite my best planning I still get full.  There is always so much to choose from that it is impossible not to at least *taste* a little of it all.

I usually gives tips on how to avoid weight gain over the holidays - which I still like to promote because I really don't want to gain weight.  The holidays are supposed to be focusing on family, friends and thanks - not food.  But that is besides the point.  The point that there is always so much damn good food!!! 

Today is going to the top 5 reasons why you should eat turkey on Thanksgiving.

5.  Turkey is low in calories and high in protein- this is great for those of us watching our girlish (or manly) figures..... even for those of us not watching our figures!

White meat with skin
185 calories
1.4g saturated fat
33g protein

White meat, no skin
158 calories 
1.4g saturated fat
34g protein

Per Shape Magazine and based on 4 oz. servings.

4.  It contains tryptophan which helps boost serotonin and aids in getting your zzzzzzs.  Oh, plus, it's good for boosting the immune system.

3.  Turkey is high in vitamins B6, B12, niacin and riboflavin- which is great for energy.... which we might need to get us through the food coma.

2.  It is a great alternative to higher fat meats such as beef or pork.  Even great to switch out with chicken for those of us who eat tons of chicken.

1.  There are so many scrumptious things to make with leftovers.  Yay!  Everyone loves leftovers

Recipe Here

Recipe Here 

Recipe Here

I found these recipes from other sources for all of us to try and I linked their recipes with the pics.  They look BOMB!!  You're welcome.

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Nov 24, 2014

Wedding and Baby Shower Weekend

I have a lot of things to be happy and thankful about and one of them is that I had an amazing weekend yet accomplished a lot things on the "To Do List".  Oh, and anxiety was lower than uge so YAY ME!!

Friday night was just chill - sometimes you gotta have those kinda days.  Plus, with the busy weekend ahead of us, I knew I had to let my body (and neck) relax.  We just watched an old movie:  Love, Actually.  My favorite was the prime minister and his love story.  I was not exactly fond of the love stories that included falling in love outside of their marriage.

Saturday morning started off with a hike with my brother.  The goal was to go to a place we went to a few months ago but we couldn't really remember how to get there or the name of the mountain.  So my brother Googled what I thought was called Phoenix Mountain Preserve.  By the way, we did not end up there.  I leave and head East (which is the direction I went last time) and he takes off going West.  Neither of us realized we were going the opposite direction of each other  (maybe I should have used the GPS that is so readily available in my car)  because he told me I was on a road that turns into the one he was already on and it would loop me around.  Nope.  No looping.   Probably because we were going opposite directions.

I won't say he didn't know which direction he was going because he's a guy and guys know that kind of stuff.  So I will just say ... well, nothing.  Partially, it was because I did not know where the street changed into the other street.  Again, should've used the technology I am blessed to have in the comfort of my car.  I will continue with the story.   I kept going for like 10 minutes before my sense of direction *or lack of* told me turn the hell around and go the other way.

I did.  We finally found (I say found as though we were searching around lost in some huge maze of a forest or desert or something)  each other after taking the scenic route - driving on regular city streets =not so scenic- and squeezed in about 45 minutes of our hike.  Thanks to the driving excursion.  Afterward we went to my house to have some chicken and bean soup I had been cooking that morning.

I'm thinking I will post the recipe for the chicken and bean soup soon.

That night we went to our friend's wedding reception and it was beautiful.  There was a lot of attention to detail.... that is not my strong point when it comes to fashion and being pretty.  I'm more of a simple kind of person but I make it work.  I tried my hand at some fashion shots for today but my bf is not that great with photos.  It is funny though because he thinks he is pretty good.  Since I cannot take them myself, we will deal with the blur.... sorry.

Off to the wedding we went.  It was beautifully done.  Little details and was gorgeous.

Saturday and Sunday was errands, house cleaning, groceries, homework, etc.  while squeezing in the above wedding and Sunday's baby shower.  Thankfully it was co-ed which = more fun and booze.  It was fun because we got to celebrate the baby and have fun all at the same time. 


There was lots of pasta.  I am talking about 3 big cookers full as well as 3 more pans.  Then another lasagna dish.  I guess that equals pasta as well.  Snacks were chips, guacamole, some bread bowl with cheese in it and some delicious meats and cheese.  Plus alcohol.  I had a small amount of pasta and a half chip with guac.  You see, Thanksgiving is this week and I intend to pig out eat like a lady.  So I had to watch my girlish figure at the baby shower.  hahaa
Last night after the baby shower, finishing up a crap load of errands, meal prepping and blah blah blah, I got to watch Maleficent.  I really liked it but the bf thought it was a chic flick.  It was.  And I like it.
How was your weekend?

Linking up:  Biana for Weekending!
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Nov 21, 2014

Friday's Gratitude

I recently wrote about meditation as a solution for overcoming anxiety and another solution to help is gratitude.  In the blog a couple days ago I talked about serotonin being a natural way to counteract adrenaline, which is the leading hormone in anxiety.  Being grateful for the many things we may tend to overlook is a way to help calm the nerves and relieve, or reduce, anxiety.

So far I have packaged my gratitude into a pretty little box.  Truth be told, anxiety is something I have been dealing with for the last 3 years or so.  Something that rips, tears and gnaws through my life creating havoc and uproar.  It is uncomfortable to admit because my normal personality is happy, positive and fun.  However, anxiety has interfered in such a way that I have to *work* at the above mentioned personality.  I have to try to overcome the constant flow of adrenaline coursing through my veins and causing shortness of breath, chest pain, etc.

Thankfully, I do not have fears of things that may never happen and I do not have a fear of being crowds, like some do.  However, silly stuff sends a jolt of adrenaline right through my body.  Even happiness.  My body is so confused that when I should be happy about something, my body says I should fight or flight.  My heart rate accelerates and I begin to sweat. 

I had gotten to a point where I had overcome anxiety, naturally, with no medication.  And then it came back.  I am sure it is because I am going on 5 months in which the neck injury still doesn't allow me to lift and workout the way I want to.  Which means I am not getting the dopamine and serotonin I would normally get.  Additionally, I have started a Master's degree which is sucking up more time than I want to give up.  This interferes with blogging and my personal life!  No bueno.  My preference is to be happy go lucky all the time and anxiety free all the time.  So I have to start over with the steps that worked before. 

Today, I am going to talk about the things I am grateful for.  And breathe !

1.  TV in bed
2.  Friends
3.  All the pumpkin choices!

4.  My health
5.  Great job and benefits
6.  Great house and car
7.  Fun time of year filled with holiday cheer
8.  Family
9.  People who love me
10.  Student season passes to snowboard with (this means discount)
11.  Snowshoeing in case snowboarding causes issues with the injury
12.  The color grey.... I just love it 
Add caption

13.  Beaches

The above image is from:

14.  My bf who has been an absolute gem!
15.  My blogger friends
Some of the list is silly and some of is nice.  Either way, it is a list and I AM grateful.  Some people do not have jobs, food, houses, cars, health and a lot of other things that I DO have.  It is so easy to forget about and appreciate what I have when I am always looking forward.  Goals are important and wonderful but what fun are they if the current moment cannot be enjoyable?!

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Nov 18, 2014

Adrenaline, Anxiety and Meditation, Huh?

Meditation can be perceived as outlandish, however can it help overcome the laundry list of mind clutter that contributes to anxiety?  Anxiety that is escalated when thinking about child related obligations, financial problems, the long list of things to do, issues at work and more.
Those of you with anxiety can relate to the feelings of being nauseated and overwhelmed as well as the panicky feeling that comes along with it.  The crippling side effects that come along with it such as depression, lack of or reduced motivation, feelings of worry and self-doubt.  All this is very real and you have probably also experienced the fact that it gets in the way of life.  Not just the symptoms it causes but it also blocks the ability to think as clearly as usual and it clouds the mind so creativity seems to be reduced.  I am not saying that you cannot think clearly at all nor have no creativity but doesn’t it seem to be reduced a little?  Or a lot?
I have noticed it is more difficult to have total clarity, when I am experiencing anxiety, which is probably because my ability to focus is reduced or lost.  My mind is full of clutter so it is difficult to direct full attention to the task at hand.  Wouldn’t you love to eliminate the symptoms, the root cause?

Can meditation aid in overcoming anxiety?

We know the physical symptoms and the effects that it has on our mind, body and emotion but what about the internal effects?  These symptoms are not just phantom things that we hallucinate about….. There are real things going on in the body that make us experience these things.  Today I am going to go over what actually happens internally that causes the physical reaction to occur.  The purpose of this is once you realize what is happening internally, it will help you correct it yourself.
I was talking to my friend, Janae, and she said one of the things she learned is that many times we have anxiety over something we worry might happen.  She says most of the times these things have never actually happened but we are afraid of it anyway.  Like what if we fall down?  Or having a fear of crowded places.  This constant worry nags at us and she learned that if you focus on the fact that falling has never happened before so it is likely not going to happen now, or crowded places have not caused harm before it will help remove some of the mind clutter and help reduce anxiety in that area.  You may wonder: What does any of this have to do with meditation? Meditation focuses on clearing the mind and bringing what we want to our life.
Janae’s tip helps free mind clutter for that one area by just realizing that certain thoughts are unlikely.  And if we do fall, so what?  We get up and keep walking.  It is not the end of the world; we are not going to lose our job, family or loved ones over it so why worry about it.  We acknowledge that the thought is occurring but probably not a reality and move it out of our head.  What about replacing it with the idea that today is going to be fantastic?  Today is the day that we walk freely without falling.  The day that the crushing chest pain and shortness of breath is gone.  Today is the day we will laugh and have a great time!  That is way more positive and nobody has anxiety over that thought!
happiness photo: THINK HAPPINESS AttractHappiness.jpg

Why Would Meditation Help Overcome Anxiety

Today we are going to talk about 2 key hormones.  The body has many more hormones but the focus for today is adrenaline and serotonin.  Insulin and cortisol play huge roles in aggression, depression, anxiety and stress but we are going to examine the effects of adrenaline spikes and how they are a major factor that leads to anxious feelings.  Let me add that food plays a big factor in how these hormones act but that is topic for another day.
According to Dr. Heller & Dr. Heller (2010), in The Stress Eating Cure, the body has a hormone to help control many aspects of the body’s emotions.  For example, according to McCrimmon et al, (1999) in Physiology and Behavior, research shows higher levels of insulin are linked to increases in feeling anger, even when the research participant was in a setting of non-confrontation.  Another example, per F. Martin del Campo et al., (2002) in Biological Psychiatry, fatigue, tension, anger, depression and confusion greatly increased when levels of cortisol were at the highest points.  These are just a couple examples of what happens to the body as a result of increased hormones.
Heller & Heller’s research also shows that when one hormone increases it triggers another to try to correct it.  This increase triggers the next hormone to spike and so forth, thus creating a roller coaster-type effect.  Their research shows that when adrenaline rises it can be counteracted by serotonin so if we practice ways of keeping serotonin levels up that will keep adrenaline at bay.
Why keep adrenaline at bay and what role does it play with anxiety?  Adrenaline triggers the fight or flight response we need if we are getting ready to run a marathon, lift some weights or run from a giant bear.  The body’s natural way of preparing us for these events is to give us a shot of adrenaline and when it is used then there is usually no stress.  However, Heller and Heller state that if our body dishes a dose of adrenaline and we do not use it that is when conflict is created in the body.  The doctors explain stress and anxiety occurs when our body, mind and emotion conflict with one another. For example if we are at work and a customer or client says something extremely rude but we do not respond by telling them what we really think (because we value our job) then our body feels at conflict because our mind and emotions clash.  Basically, we are given a dose of adrenaline that is not getting used – because we bite our tongue.

What Happens With Anxiety when Meditation is Done

Overcoming adrenaline is done by releasing serotonin into the body because serotonin counteracts the feeling produced by adrenaline.  Serotonin is a hormone produced in the body that gives us the ‘happy’ feeling.  Feelings of peace and well-being are associated with serotonin and there are things we can do to produce serotonin in our own body, without the use of drugs.

meditation photo: meditation meditation.jpg

Working out releases serotonin and so does any kind of exercise which is where the term “runner’s high” comes from.  Getting enough sleep, boosting other hormones such as oxytocin, eating right and avoid insulin boosting foods, listening to your favorite music, avoiding stimulants like caffeinated products, the touch of a loved one or pet and even having conversation with a friend are all great ways to produce serotonin in the body.  It helps calm and rejuvenate the mind in turn positively affecting the body.  Last but not least, the Journal of Psychiatry & Neuroscience lists meditation first due to ‘self-induced’ mind alterations.  Read more on that here:

My personal favorites of overcoming anxiety are meditating, music, eating right and working out.  It is extremely important to incorporate several of these activities throughout your day, every day, in order to begin reducing the effects of anxiety by producing serotonin and other ‘pleasant’ hormones.  Eventually, with continuous effort you will be anxiety free.  Wouldn’t you love to eliminate the symptoms, the root cause?

That is where meditation comes in.  Meditation aids the production of serotonin and the process involved with meditation allows the mind to be free of clutter while focusing on more positive and productive ideas and thoughts.  If you would like to read on how to meditate, CLICK HERE.

Sometimes I get into a routine and forget about meditating and find anxiety creeping back into my life so I have to redirect my energy on meditation and specific music.  I find that classical works best for me but it will likely be different for everyone.  Sometimes I use a technique that involves using certain music frequencies.  I work out -even though it is currently limited- and eat properly almost daily so I know that those 2 things, alone, are not quite enough to conquer anxiety.  Since this is a constant battle, it is important to know that meditation will not 'fix' or 'cure' anxiety which is why you should do it regularly.  The more often you are producing "feel good" hormones, the less frequently anxiety will occur until eventually it disappears.  Keeping in mind what I stated above that it can easily reoccur when practicing these good habits stop.

Let me draw a correlation to meditation and the law of attraction.  Individuals use the law of attraction as a way of getting what they put out.  It is a strong and powerful technique to achieve goals in life and a great way to conquer fears and climb to the top of their potential.  Using the law of attraction, individuals will think about what they want in a positive manner and they do it regularly to attract what they want.  Meditation is the same concept and can be used in a similar way to tap into your subconscious mind.

Using your strengths to achieve something great…. To conquer anxiety.
I recognize the fact that many people are not sold on the fact that meditation could have any positive influence, or any influence at all, but I bet those same people have not tried it.  I mean really tried it the way it is supposed to be done by keeping an open mind and actually giving it a chance to work.  It has been scientifically proven through research that meditation, in fact, does boost serotonin AND dopamine.  This production helps quash adrenaline and ease the mind as well as the body.  This eliminates anxiousness.  I never used to believe in meditation but I have changed my views since it worked for me.

What are your views on meditation?  Do you think it is possible to overcome anxiety by using meditation?  Post your comments below on whether you have tried it or if you are willing to try it.

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Nov 14, 2014

Friday Favs: Alcohol Facts

I have noticed that I have had a glass of wine after work a couple nights a week.  Or a martini a couple nights a week.  Even though it is not both, a martini AND wine it has been one or the other.  I also know the holidays are around the corner.  I really like to gorge myself eat so around the holidays I like to kick up my activity and clean up my eating before and after such binging fest holiday. 

This means that alcohol is getting in the way.  I always joke around that I need to lose 5lbs to compensate for the 5lbs I am sure to gain.  But nobody really wants to gain 5lbs.  With the above info on alcohol, you can see that I am *not* getting ahead of the holiday weight gain. 

Let's examine what I am referring to.  Here are some of my recent favs:

Pumpkin Martini. 

RUM 2 oz:   Calories : 128  || Carbs 0 ||Any Nutritional Value 1 mg potassium
 PUMPKIN SYRUP (one squirt):  Calories 120 || Carbs 0 || Any Nutritional Value 0
PUMPKIN PUREE:  Calories about 5 || Carbs about 1.2 || Any Nutritional Value - less than 1 g protein and fiber


TOTAL:  Calories 240 || Carbs about 1.2

Overall, not too bad.  Except that it is over half the calories of a full meal and it is TINY.  Take note the small napkin underneath it- this is your typical drink napkin so you can tell it is a small drink.  Very small.    What if I wanted 2?  I probably wouldn't cuz it was $12.00 but if it were a little less expensive I could easily have 2-3 of these because they are THAT GOOD.

Pineapple Martini

 VODKA 1 oz.:  Calories 64 || Carbs 0 || Any Nutrition 0

PINEAPPLE JUICE 1 oz:  Calories 26 || Carbs 4 || Any Nutrition <1 g protein

ORANGE LIQUEUR 1.5 oz:  Calories 145- 300 (depending on brand) || Carbs 0 || Any Nutrition- 14g Sugar

TOTAL:  Calories: 235- 338 || Carbs 4 || Nutrition  <1g protein and 14g sugar

Yes!  5 calories less, if you happen to have the brand  of liqueur that is reduced calories.  Otherwise, I better REALLY enjoy this martini.  This one was either $10. or $12. - I can't quite remember but I could easily suck down 2-3 if I hadn't seen this breakdown!


5 oz glass:  Calories 120 || Carbs 5.5 || Nutrition <1 g protein

Well, at least I get more ounces of alcohol but the content is lower so I gotta drink more.  I found a list of a few other popular wine choices as well as some alcohol.  Check this out:

The percentage is how many calories come from alcohol and (just like with alcohol percentages) the higher the better.  Apparently it is better to consume calories cause by the alcohol itself..... I'll take their work.  This content is per oz and the website has a ton more selections.  I only chose a handful but you can go check the list for your fav drink. 
Now you can see why I had to post yesterday's Tabata.  The site includes a ton of other alcohol choices such as beer and liquor.  I know we all love this stuff so you're welcome  :)
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Nov 13, 2014

Thanksgiving Tabata Style Workout

I know we all want to blast fat and none of us want to gain weight over the holidays but how do we do it with all the delicious food, desserts, snacks, appetizers, drinks, alcohol, etc?  This morning's workout was a good amount of cardio and a little triceps.  This will be Tabata style which is vigorous movement for 20 seconds and a 10 second rest.  For those of you intermediate or advanced people then change the work time from 20 seconds to 30 seconds and go as hard as you can then rest 10 seconds.

On a side note, my next post is going to about alcohol.  I will probably compare a few things for fun.  The holidays are here-Thanksgiving is TWO WEEKS away - and we may have a tendency to drink a little more with socializing.  This workout is intended to counter act that alcohol and food!

Side Jumps
Butt Kicks
Triceps Dips
Butt Kicks
Jump Rope or Air Rope
Triceps Dips
Jump Rope/Air Rope
Butt Kicks
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Nov 11, 2014

Weekend on the Beach

Just me

I had a lovely weekend on the beach in California and how lucky was I that the temps were in the high 70s and little to no wind?  In November?! 

I went to visit my long time friend and had a fabulous time!  The first thing we did was go to the beach.

My friend and me
Being goofy

She wanted me to get in the water, which was freezing!
I wasn't having it but I put my feet in.

The next thing we did was head for a late lunch at this beer place.  I am not much of a beer drinker but her husband came to meet us and I took a couple sips of what he was trying.  Eh, I am still not much of a beer drinker!  I know it is an acquired taste but I think I have to have a lot of sips to acquire that taste.  Instead, I had this:

I was wanting a pineapple martini but I decided to joke around with the bartender about pumpkin martini and he said they have it!  I did not really expect a pumpkin martini but I thought it sounded delicious and believe me, IT WAS!  I drank it like it was chocolate milk, it was so good.  We shared an artichoke and a mini flatbread meat pizza but it was just OK so no pics.
From there her husband went home and she and I went to another beach.  When you see one beach you have seen them all, right? 


Except there was something going on at this one where people dressed in white lined the shore.  There were photographers and also a wedding.  I have no idea if the wedding was a part of it but a man said there was some type of magician being filmed.  Maybe I'll see it on TV some day!

For dinner we went to Mombique, an African style restaurant and I ordered some pineapple-ish martini to go along with my curry seafood.  Drink was loaded with alcohol, catching me a nice little buzz off just one.  This is more than I can say about the pumpkin martini which probably gave me a sugar buzz.

The menu said it came with rice and veggies as well.  I see the rice and a hint of the veggies but it was really good so I will accept the lack of veggies.

The next day we went to Crystal Cove which was really cool because there was a lot of history.  Look at how much the swimsuits used to cover circa 1920!  I am thinking about the horrid tan lines but I've seen a few suits kinda moving this direction in the name of fashion.

 This is a state park now, where many people have breakfast so we got our name on the list which was a 40 minute wait "give or take".  So we made use of our time by checking this stuff out.  They rent out cottages but you must book 6 months in advance.  AND you have to book by a specific time if you intend to get that spot. 

The old manager of the place used to live in a house on the property and here are a few pics of what it looked like at her cottage.

How would you like to watch TV on this gem?  Or use the above adding machine!  Not to mention the rolodex - which you can still buy if you want.  Although, so much technology makes it useless to me.  This TV was not hers but this piano was.  Her daughter donated it to the state park after her passing.

For breakfast we had beignets, which were a first for me and came highly recommended to me by someone in Louisiana.  Apparently they are the best there but I will say they were pretty darn amazing.  It is just a light dough that is fried and sprinkled with powdered sugar.  No filling inside and were amazing!

I almost got adventurous by ordering pancakes for breakfast, which I never do, but I knew I would hate all the calories to only be hungry an hour or two later.  So this is egg, Portuguese sausage, onion, potatoes.  Kinda typical of a breakfast for me. 
We had to walk off dinner and breakfast so we walked through her community.  It is so cute with all the parks and pools.  Some birds of paradise above.  Crazy how nature is so colorful but even more that it looks like a bird.
Also, in their community, was a small strip mall which happened to have a cupcake store with all this deliciousness!!

The above image is inside the store where they were getting ready for a private party.  They were closing for 2 hours and I could only imagine how much that might cost.  The birthday girl?  A 3 year old!  It was sorta cute until we saw her all cranky and unhappy.  Yikes!  Hopefully she cheered up.   The theme was definitely pink.  The mom and another lady were in pink, as was the girl.  Along with a couple gentlemen in pink shirts too.  Arriving guests - in pink.  It was super cute.

Special of the month was a pumpkin cupcake with maple cream filling.  Yes please!!!  Only $3.95 and eighty billion calories.  We shared but I am pretty sure I could have easily devoured one all on my own.

Then we walked back to her place and I packed, got ready to leave and left for the airport home.  The best part of the trip was coming home to these from my bf:
Maybe I should leave without him more often!  j/k - I missed him.
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