Category Archives: challenge

Now that we’re running – what are we wearing?

My $6 running top. Deals are awesome.

So – finding modest running wear is tough. It seems that everything must be skin tight or barely there. Neither one of those fits in with my preferences. Right now I’m running on the treadmil in the privacy of my own home so what I wear isn’t all that important other than getting the sweat off of me quickly.

I wear yoga pants (not running tights) and was using my husband’s long sleeved shirts for tops. The problem is – cotton t-shirts can make you super sweaty and gross. So I went on the search for something I could use. If you’re lucky – you can buy stuff from places like The Running Room or Nike or even Old Navy in the winter that are long sleeved – however, I often found them to be too tight. I recently grabbed this top from Old Navy because it was on sale for $6. Why wouldn’t you buy it at that price?

So I searched on. I found a company called Friniggi out of Botswana. They had breathable tops with matching hijabs. Bonus! 2 in 1! I got a top but then suffered from 2 problems.  First – I have freakishly long arms – they are so long I’m more chimpanzee than human (ha, ha!) I have some seriously long arms here. So my running top from Finiggi is short in the sleeve.

Running top & hijab from
Running top & hijab from
Great to run in, jut a bit short in the sleeve for my long arms. This top from Friniggi is otherwise fantastic.

Problem #2 was the hijab. I love it – I do – but I measured according to the instructions on their website not once or twice or even three times. Nope, I measured at least 5 times to be sure the fit was right for me. But it doesn’t fit me well. It’s too big and I end up having to wear an underscarf with it AND pinning it down just to wear it comfortably. Not how it’s supposed to be. I do like the cut around the shoulders though – that’s cool. They were super kind and supportive in trying to fix it for me (kudos for that!) and did end up refunding me for the hijab – which was also cool. I do love the breathability of the top. It was AWESOME on a very hot summer day and a 40 min run. If it weren’t for my apish arms – I’d have been very happy. Oh – I forgot to mention -this top and hijab came with a cool drawstring backpack that I totally wasn’t expecting!

My top from LiaWear Action – and me, regretting not buying a hijab from them when I had the chance.

So I searched on – and came back to someone who made a custom top for me years ago – LiaWear Action. I told her what I needed, she asked for my measurements and the look I was going for – and voila – my most favourite running top ever was born.  It’s long enough for my arms – loose enough to keep me happy, and moisture wicking.  It covers all of my needs. Latifa is great at what she does – and super professional. I plan on ordering more from her (next order is for one of her hijabs…I didn’t get one and now our dollar SUCKS so I have to wait!) I have even worn this top as just a regular old top out and about because I love it that much.

Obligatory “action” shot of my LiaWear Action top. God – I took these pics when the leaves were still green…I think this was actually August. It only took me 5 months to actually get them on my PC to write this blog post!

Run with me!

I started running a few years ago – not thinking I’d like it but wanting to find a way to exercise that wasn’t going to take a whole lot of equipment. A friend recommended to me an app called C25K – that stands for Couch to 5km. Did you see that? It said COUCH. So yes, even if you’ve been sitting on your butt eating nachos… you can do it.  You will amaze yourself. And even better – it’s a free app!

Anyhow – fast forward. I got pregnant, stopped running, had the baby, started running, got really busy with life and then fell (almost) into depression again…and got back into running in December of 2015. I love running. Who knew I’d say something like that? Not me, that’s for sure, but I really do love it.

So I thought how great it would be for you all to join me! No – I don’t expect you to come run with me in my house – or on the same routes I take when I run outside (though that might be fun come warmer weather!)… but if you have a phone, you can download the app – and plug along with me! If you follow the app – you can get up to running 5km in 8 weeks. Does that mean you have to follow the app religiously? NO!  Take longer if you want! But – try to run “with” me 3 days a week.  I aim to run Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays.  Then you can post your results to facebook or Instagram (or both!) and tag me in them!

Who’s ready to join me?

Summer Blog Challenge – What am I reading?

So I missed blogging last night – I had to go to a car seat safety course.  Good thing is – I know what I’m doing when it comes to car seat installation and use.  Bad thing is…I still had to take the 2 hour course and also wait while the instructors went through every vehicle and checked to be sure car seats were all up to date and properly installed.

So – This is yesterday’s post…done today.  😉

I don’t really have a story to tell, and not a whole lot interesting is happening in my life lately … so I thought I’d go with another suggestion: Books!  Oh how I love books.

Someone sadly recommended to Mary that she ought to read the Twilight series.  Please people…don’t do this.  I had issues with everything about the books from pretty much every corner…The Oatmeal sums up my thoughts on it quite succinctly.  I know my thoughts on Twilight are unpopular, but hey…I’m not here for a popularity contest (actually, yes I am, but let’s pretend, okay?)

So – Desperate for something worth reading – Mary asked my advice.  Mary, I’m sorry that this has been put off so long, but here’s my list of books that I love:

  1. To kill a Mocking Bird – I absolutely love this book and think that everyone should read it…and digest it…and read it again and again.  Sad that it’s still relevant today (which is why we need to keep reading it)
  2. The Stand – Another book that I love and have read over and over, and worn out the book so bought a new one and read it over and over.  I know all the characters, and I know how the story goes and yet I still continually read this book. (warning, some rather graphic content – but it’s Stephen King, so don’t be surprised)
  3. The Green Mile – the movie is excellent and closely follows the book, but do yourself a favor and read the book. (again, some graphic content)
  4. Shawshank Redemption – what I said about The Green Mile. Read the book (Stephen King…if you don’t expect some graphic content by now, you need to shake your head)
  5. The Wheel of Time – This is a fantasy novel series.  If you’re not into reading many books from an author – you won’t like this.  The first book was given to me way back in 1995.  My friend had ripped of the cover as he knew I wouldn’t even think of reading a “fantasy” novel.  It’s now one of my favorites and I’m looking to build my complete collection of them.  Magic, trolls, sword fights, good, evil…and more.  I think it’s much better than Lord of the Rings (yes, I know I just lost more popularity points there) … but I found the LOTR series to be dull and boring (wow, I can hear you all dropping like flies!) – the WOT series is so much more interesting to me.
  6. The Hunger Games – I bought this and read it before passing it onto my kids (I didn’t want them to read garbage like Twilight) and was quite impressed with this.  I think it offers great opportunity to talk about politics, morals, and world issues.  I found that the writing could have been better – but then, I’m comparing a book aimed at pre-teens/teens to adult literature.  Considering its target audience, it’s excellent.
  7. The Outlander Series – My aunt recommended these to me a while back and I just kept putting it off for one reason or another.  I’d read a summary of the first book and thought I wouldn’t like it.  When faced with nothing to read while I waited for the next book on the list to arrive, I chose the first book of the series and I’m hooked.  I’ll quote from her website as to what the books are about, “history, warfare, medicine, sex, violence, spirituality, honor, betrayal, vengeance, hope and despair, relationships, the building and destruction of families and societies, time travel, moral ambiguity, swords, herbs, horses, gambling (with cards, dice, and lives), voyages of daring, journeys of both body and soul…”  I’m currently over halfway through the 3rd book and am hooked.  I should mention – the sex in the book is…uh…well…detailed.  Fair warning.
  8. A Game of Thrones – I’m not sure how many books are in this series, and should mention that I have NOT watched the tv series…but WOW.  I like this book!  I’ve only read the first and am on the wait list for the second…again, fantastic.  This one has dragons, magic, spirituality, wars, clashes, sex, sex, and sex… And be warned…there’s a lot of sibling on sibling action. *shudder*

That’s all I can think of off the top of my head…but what’s on my list of things I’m going to read?  There’s more…but yeah.

  1. The Godfather
  2. I Shall Not Hate – I’ve heard fantastic things of this and can’t wait to pick it up from the library
  3. Wheat Belly
  4. Joyland
  5. The Ocean at the End of the Lane
  6. 419
  7. And the Mountains Echoed

What books do you love?

Nearing the finish

I’m so close to the end of school – so close I can taste it.  Really…just 7 days, 20 hours and 36 minutes…but whatever, who’s counting.

My course, where I read and study and show that I’ve learned everything by answering questions and having conversations – that’s the easy part.  I’m not so worried about that at all.  However, there’s the practicum….

da, da, dAAAAH!

The practicum involves the instructor coming to my house to make sure that I’m able to do everything that I claim to know.  This isn’t a problem.

Ironically, this picture of Adam isn’t photoshopped….


No – Adam is my biggest problem.  He’s a great kid – he really is – but he’s also chaotic, wild, excitable, hyperactive, and emotional.  Take today for example – I had a day filled with temper tantrums, toy tossing, tears, and then giggles.

He is a performer in his heart – and all he needs is an audience. ANY audience.  Tonight, he decided that it would be a good idea to put on a baby doll’s t-shirt.  Yeah.  It got stuck on his head.  Kind of like a blindfold.  I enjoyed the momentary silence as he tried to figure out how to get it off.  I watched out of the corner of my eye as he tried to get it off.  He escaped with no harm, don’t worry folks.

Anyhow – you see – the instructor who’s coming is this really awesome, soft spoken woman.  I love her…I’d love to be as calm and unruffled as she is…but well…I have Adam.

I’m hoping that he got rid of the craziness today – so that I can have a quiet, relatively uneventful final practicum visit tomorrow.


Pray for me.


PS – it is SO GREAT to be back and able to blog again.  Let’s also say a little prayer that the internet Gremlins stay away!

It’s a Monday kind of Tuesday

After having a wonderful long weekend spent with the family (amusement parks, delicious dining and back to school shopping)…I woke up to a Monday kind of Tuesday – ever have one of those?  A day in which everything just seems to go wrong and you think “why did I even bother getting up?”

It started before I even woke up.  You see, I set the alarm.  I set it for 530 – giving me ample time to ensure that my daughter had clean and dry panties, my son had clean and dry jeans and I would be showered and ready for the day.  Yup…I was all planned out.  Thing is – I missed a crucial step in the alarm setting process – I forgot to turn it on.

So, I flutter my eyes open and think “wow, it’s pretty bright out for 5am” assuming that my alarm would be going off at any moment.  I look at my clock and see 7:07 flashing away at me.  This is not a good thing, as my first daycare child is usually dropped off at 7.

I frantically dash out of bed, toss on some clothes and deoderant, rinse my mouth with mouthwash and run a brush through my hair.  The door bell rings, and there’s daycare child and mom – and I’m just praying that my shirt is on the right way.  I get child settled and dash to wake up the kids then I run to make their lunches.  That’s when I realized that I was out of bread.  I tell the kids they’ll have to come home for lunch…then run to put the laundry into the dryer so that daughter’s got dry underwear…

I shovel some breakfast into our mouths, the dryer beeps, and the kids get dressed…then Mr. Delusional comes to make his coffee.  That’s when we realize that I forgot to turn on the dishwasher last night….I grab the dirty coffee decanter, give it a quick rinse and make him deal with it…He does…then goes to get in the shower.  A few minutes later he calls to me and says “There’s  no hot water!”

Right…because I turned the hot water tank to “vacation” mode while we were gone on our little trip…my way of attempting to save a (tiny) bit of money.  But I forgot to turn it back on.

It’s only noon.  Let’s hope the day improves.


I’ve never had a child who’s thrown tantrums.  Oh…they’ve thrown the occasional fit now and then, but never one of those screaming, throwing yourself of the floor tantrums where other people look at you and say “oh my God, what a horrible parent!!”

So, seeing that I lacked something in my life, God gave me Adam.

A few weeks ago, we went to buy bikes.

(Yes, I said a few weeks ago — it’s taken me this long to get my mental functionality recovered…I’ve just been in a fetal position rocking slowly in the corner this last while)  

Anyhow – the kids have all outgrown their old bikes and were in need of new…so we said “Hey, let’s go to Toys R Us and look at some bikes!”  However, we didn’t go to Toys R Us, instead, we stopped at another store along the way to look at the bikes there.  Apparently, this meant that the world was coming to an end to Adam.  He started crying the moment we pulled into the parking lot.  He’s cried before, and so we thought he’d get over it by the time we got into the store.

We were wrong.

He cried all the way through the store.  Then he saw the bikes and stopped crying.  After checking out the bikes we realized that there was a sports store in the mall, and we could look there since we were already at the mall.  This made Adam cry again.  This time, he started to intersperse screams of “NO!” while kicking and screaming.  It sounded like we were torturing him. (note, I have never tortured, nor  head anyone being tortured, I’m using a figure of speech called an “a simile” – please stop sending me emails asking me, “did you really do that??”)

So, he cried all the way to the sports store, saw a bike that he could actually try riding and was fine.  Then we left to go to Toys R Us.  We thought he’d be happy about that.

We were wrong.

He cried through the sports store.  He cried through the mall.  He cried through the other store we stopped at.  He cried through the parking lot.  He cried in the car.  He cried at Toys R Us.

He cried for 4 hours. He cried, he screamed, he kicked, he thrashed – he could have had a starring role in the next Exorcist movie.

And people wonder why I don’t plan on having more.

Welcome to reality

I hate this picture SO much

Why is it that we can blissfully ignore what is right in front of our faces until we see it in a picture.  Things like mess on the floor — you don’t really notice it, but then you take a picture of your kid and see crap all over the place and think “I can’t show this to anyone!” and clean before taking more.

The same thing happens with your weight.  I’ve seen it on TV and never really understood it.  Those commercials for weight loss where the guy says “I knew I was big, but didn’t realize how big I was until I saw a picture…”

Well folks, it’s happened to me.  Yes, I saw the doughy roll forming around my middle.  Yes, I noticed that I moved from my sexy jeans to my fat jeans….and then to my sweat pants because even the fat jeans were too tight.  Yes, I saw my thighs getting bigger and bigger and didn’t really recognize the person that I saw in the mirror as the person that I see in my head.

But, reality hit me well and true yesterday when I took a series of pictures of myself (outside in the snow to send to a friend overseas who misses it dearly).  I could NOT get a picture that didn’t have a double chin.  No amount of neck stretching would do it.  And it hit me — if my face is getting chubby – what’s the rest of me looking like?  With blinders removed from my eyes, I saw me in a new light…and am not really liking what I see.

So, after weeks of telling myself I’m getting up to exercise – I DID IT.  I also logged onto my sparkpeople account for the first time in a long time to track my weight/measurements and food.  And I’m going to keep accountable on the Facebook Group that I made (because so far, it’s just been excuses as to why I’m not doing anything).  Also — I’m putting my plans out here for you all too — Keep me on track, peeps!

I’m sick of feeling so lethargic and unmotivated.  I’m tired of the rolls and the pain of tight waist bands.

My Goals:

  • I am going to do the Shred for 3 days in a row, followed by 1 day of Yoga Meltdown
  • I am going to eat whole/healthy foods
  • I am going to actually drink water (A major weakness of mine, I don’t like water and am lucky if I get 1/2 a glass in a day)
  • I am going to cut down on the sugars and starchy foods
  • I am cutting out coffee (le gasp!)
  • I am going to be positive — This doesn’t mean I can’t still have a snarky attitude and maintain my wit — no — I’m just going to also see the good in ME instead of the bad.

Who’s joining me??

Back to the Shred

So, I just finished writing about the big epiphany that I’d had. I’m starting with exercise.  I felt good when I was exercising…I felt better about myself, my body, my abilities…my confidence was better – I just felt good.  Then, for some reason I stopped.  I couldn’t tell you why, but I did.  But, I need to get back to it.  I’m tired of seeing myself in my head as I think I am, only to look in the mirror and see a stranger staring back at me.  I’m tired of being tired, out of breath, and lazy.

So, today I did the first day of The Shred.  It was as tough as I rememered it.  And I certainly wasn’t foolish enough to think that I could jump back into level 3 again, but I did think that I’d be able to make it through level one.  I was wrong.
I also forgot that I basically pee my pants when I have to do 50 000 jumping jacks.  No amount of kegals has been able to stop this….and how I could forget, I’ll never know, but I did. 

Last time, I inspired a few of you to begin doing this with me.  So, if any of my lovely readers want’s to join in again, I’m going to let you know what I did as well as what I didn’t (cause I don’t want you all thinking I’m an iron woman here or anything!)

In Level One, she starts you off with the warm up – which is relatively easy.  Did it all.
Then you have to do the jumping jacks/skip rope deal.  I did NOT make it through all of this. I have no endurance.
Push ups.  I have ZERO upper body strength.  I think I managed to do 6 of them.  Woot.
Lunges – I couldn’t get through the second round of this.
Sit ups…I did.  I cried, but I did them.
Butt kicks/boxing — I did this too and I imagine that I’m punchin Jillian with every strike.  I hope she doesn’t mind.

Hmmm…it would seem that i’ve blocked the rest from my mind.  What i do know is that I literally cried.  Then made my wobbly way up 16 stairs to my shower.  But I’m not going to give up…I plan on doing 3 days of The Shred followed by one day of her Yoga Meltdown (and if you think Yoga is easy, you won’t after you try this!)  After the month is through, I  may move up to her newest Shred video, have you heard of it?  My girlfriend gives it rave reviews – says she has found muscles that she didn’t know she even had (and her calves are looking HAWT!)…I’m planning on buying it…and here’s the link in case you want to check it out (just to the right there).

Shred Challenge – final thoughts

Okay, I’m well beyond my 30 days of Shredding.  I thought I’d come in with some final thoughts and statistics.

Do I love working out any more than before?  No.

Do I have a new love for Jillian?  Not really.

Have I noticed changes?  YES…energy, clothing wise, even my skin looks better!

The results:

  • Total Weight loss = -1.7 lbs.  This doesn’t seem like much – but I can see a massive change.  I lot of my blubber changed into muscle.  Don’t be dissapointed if you do this workout and don’t see your scale moving much
  • Waist = no change
  • Chest = +1.25 inches (hell yeah!)
  • Hips = – 1 inch (hell yeah!)
  • Thighs = – 1.25 inches (hell yeah!)
  • Calves = + .5 inch (oh yeah!)
  • Biceps = + 1 inch (yeah baby, yeah!)

So…now what?  Well, I honestly haven’t gotten off of my butt for the last few days…busy with life. There’s also a major change to my work schedule starting – and I’m already waking up at 5am.  I will NOT be getting up at 4 to exercise.  I’ll have to figure something out though.

I still can’t decide if I love The Shred or not.  I certainly like the fact that it’s short…long enough to make a difference short enough to be over quickly without being bored out of my mind.  I’m debating whether or not I’ll do a level a day or something…I just hated level 2 so much.  All in all though, I’d highly recommend buying this video.
I really like Jillian Michaels: Yoga Meltdown – that’s a workout/relaxation in one (and Jillian’s not yelling at you).
My friend gave me a dvd to try — it’s Lindsay Brin’s CORE Fitness which I hear is tough…I may try it…or it may gather dust.

I’d sure as hell like to enjoy working out.  I really want to want to get up in the morning and do it. Thing is, I’m lazy…lazy, lazy, lazy.  And lately, I’ve been making excuse after excuse to not do these things.  Am I just in the wrong place right now?  Maybe.  Or maybe God just intended for me to jiggle and shake.  Who knows?

PS. Blogger has completely changed the layout of blogging. I really like it!! Maybe I’ll have a couple of posts testing out the new features!