Posts Tagged ‘fun outtings


Wins, Wishes and Wellbeing

I’m winning more than Charlie Sheen at this point, even with some minor losses along the way.

Win = Hello, sunny Florida!

Loss = Not knowing who to root for at a baseball game


Win = Seeing your all-time favorite player from a few yards away 

Loss = Said player hits a double-play ball on his first at-bat, but that’s ok.. he’s still healing!

Ultimate win = Winning the game, no matter who lost.  I’ve got to have a team in both leagues, after all (thanks to my family and their fan stances).

Loss = Thinking I’ve spotted Johnny Depp and being disappointed by a strikingly similar wax figure.

Win = Finding fun new treasures that lessen my disappointment.

Loss = Not being Cinderella.  Hence, not being able to live in her digs.

Win = Cinderella still came down to say hi during a magical parade


Loss = Long walks on bum legs (thanks to over-exercising while on vacation)

Win = Having family around to make the walks feel (almost) painless

Ultimate win = Sharing an amazing experience with this gang – and a more furry gang..

and a leathery gang…

and a feathery gang…

The gang’s all here.. well there.  We had such a wonderful time – between seeing the Braves & Yankees, visiting parks and relaxing by the pool, it’s always sad when good things come to an end.  Fortunately, we will all be together again soon and we did make some great memories last week!

I am one incredibly blessed girl!

PS – If you LOVE Trader Joe’s like I do, go over to Friends for Weight Loss and enter their giveaway!


75% and apple chips

We’re nearly to Orlando – in Savannah, GA as a matter of fact.  As often as I visit Georgia, I have never been here and intend to eventually come back just to see the historic area and to mosey down River Street, eating a yummy praline from River Street Sweets

Ever had one of these?  My aunt occasionally brings them when they visit during the holidays and they make me so happy to be Southern!  If you need a chocolate fix, they can handle that too!  Their bear claws are simply amazing and more than enough richness to satisfy a sweet tooth!

Salivating yet?  Sadly, with only one night stay here, there’s no way I’ll get to their store this time around.  Trust me, I’m ok with that since we’ll be sitting in Orlando later this afternoon under sunny skies, unlike these that we saw nearly the whole way here:Don’t let those birds or the peek of sun fool you.  Those skies spelled doom for drivers and we had an onslaught of vision-hindering rain for at least an hour.  We did sidetrip to B.F.E., NC to see my parent’s new property.  They invested in it a few years back, right before the real estate market took a nosedive. 

It’s seen progress in the 3 years since, and by “progress” I mean 3 developed properties on a total of 100 lots. 

Great views.  Few neighbors. No amenities.. yet.

In any case, meandering sidetrips and speed-decreasing weather mean that car snacks are a necessity.  Luckily enough, I managed to whip up a convenient, healthy snack for the road (and I got to break out the food dehydrator again).  I really don’t use that machine enough!  I give you… dried apple chips!

Apple Chips

2 large sweet-tart apples (or any will do)

Food dehydrator

6 hours

Slice thinly and arrange on the tiers of your dehydrator.

Take a peek 4 hours into drying.

Bag ’em up 2 hours after that (less or more depending on your own machine) and throw ’em in the fridge.  Easy peasy! Just try keeping your travel buddies hands off of them.  Not so easy peasy!

Two large apples yielded a good sized bag and completely filled all tiers of my dehydrator.  I’d like to eventually buy a couple more levels and dry more at a time.  I also intend to do more experimenting with veggies.  I really have no reason for not using this thing more often!  The apple chips are amazing and very easy to throw into my gym bag for a post-workout treat!

We’re getting ready to see what’s in store for us at the continental breakfast.  I never have high hopes for such things, but we’ll see..

Until tomorrow… and Orlando!


A fest for gluttony

It comes around each year, and each year I used to get very excited.  Since I began my weight loss journey and total diet change, the Great American Food Fest held in Chesapeake has not been quite as thrilling.  I still enjoy spending time with my parents and socializing with friends.  I still enjoy the people-watching fodder – and there is a TON of it.

The food that is served by area restaurants, however, leaves a bit to be desired for anyone that is not eating clean or watching how their food is prepared.

There are plenty of fried items – corndogs, chicken wings, fried fish, hushpuppies, shrimp and funnel cakes.

There are endless varieties of soups – clam chowder, shrimp and crab bisque, creamy roasted red pepper and multiple styles of chili.

There is cotton candy, pizza, meatballs, shrimp & grits, pulled pork barbecue, chips and salsa, riblets, soda and more beer and liquor than should be allowed in such limited square footage.

I can’t say I was fully unprepared for such an occurence.  I solved the problem by filling up on a great breakfast.


Peachy custard oats + Oikos Greek Yogurt with Total Fiber cereal + Nestle Fat Free Hot Cocoa

At the Food Fest, I then find the cleanest food possible and eat like a fiend.

Grilled Tuna skewers

I think I may have eaten my weight in these.  OK, not really.. I only had 4. 

I struggled tonight – really struggled but not with the food, surprisingly.  Some of my parents friends (that I had never met before) tagged along.  At nearly every tent stop, the wife asked “Do you eat anything? That’s worries me” By the third round of a similar statement, I wanted to scream.  Thankfully, my mom was standing by to insist that, yes, I ate quite well, but my dietary choices were different.   I have never gotten truly angry when asked about my food choices, but to be asked this over and over again and for someone who does not know me to say that my choices worried them was quite upsetting.  Needless to say, I soon left.

I wonder, though, when our society began to think that eating unprocessed, natural food instead of sugar-laden, man-made crap was “worrisome.”  I don’t always eat the best food, but I think the choices I make (for the most part) are the choices that we should all make to treat our God-given bodies with care and respect.  I know this isn’t the case for everyone, but eating fried, processed or rich foods makes me feel physically awful.  I feel amazingly strong, empowered and healthy when I eat clean food. 

Instead of screaming, rolling my eyes or just walking away, I quietly agreed with my mom.  “Yep.. what she said.”  Then I snapped a pic of a mini, gluten-free chocolate cupcake (enjoyed by my gracious mother and courtesy of the Carolina Cupcakery)

and basked in the warm sun and thanked God for giving me a body that is healthy enough to get through life.

Have you ever faced a similar statement or question?  How did you react?



stirring up sunday

Why must the weekends end so soon after beginning?  It just is not fair!  I would love to petition for 4-day work weeks and 3-day weekends.  Who’s with me?!

At least a good weekend ended on a high note – stir fry!  I always feel so good and healthified after eating a dinner of (mostly) veggies and lean protein.  Tonight, I threw in some Tofu Shirataki noodles – spot on!  They taste and feel absolutely nothing like traditional pasta (so don’t be surprised by this if you give them a whirl) and are packaged in water, but they satisfy my need for something pasta/rice-like to go with all those veggies and chicken.  I have found that cooking them in the stir fry rather than just throwing the mix on top makes them taste a bit better, plus it takes away some of the extra water that 20 minutes of draining just can’t do.  It will be the new cooking method of choice for these noodles.

Here’s tonight’s stirred-up concoction:

Chicken breast + broccoli + bell pepper + onion + baby corn + straw mushrooms + shirataki noodles.  All seasoned with a bit of low sodium soy sauce, garlic powder and chicken broth.  Healthy = Tasty! 

We noshed while we watched the new series, Life, on Discover HD.  If you have time, watch this or DVR it.  It’s spectacular to admire God’s handiwork at such unique angles!

As I said, this really was the perfect end to a wonderful weekend.  Yesterday, we were blessed with blue skies and 70-degree temps, so the hubby and I visited the Virginia Aquarium for a few hours.  The layout of the Aquarium is really nice.  It’s actually in 2 separate buildings with a wooded trail between them.  A few highlights –




Yes, the croc is very real (he looked faked) and the river otters were enough to entertain us for a very long time.  It was an unbelievably wonderful day.  The best part?  I succeeded in completing a MARCH GOAL – new activities with my love.  I feel so accomplished.

We finished the day by going to see Green Zone with Matt Damon.  It was quite a compelling movie.  We both loved it and I certainly admire Matt’s acting abilities.  He can go from geeky and quirky (ie Ocean’s Eleven and The Informant) to inspirational and thought-provoking (ie Invictus and The Rainmaker).  That boy has skills! Just looking at his resume, I think there is only one big ticket movie that he was in that I have not seen and that was Stuck on You.  If memory serves me correctly, that one flopped anyway.

Yesterday was not quite as exciting (except for that awesome dinner).   I spent most of it working 2 first-round NCAA women’s basketball games.  Sadly, UConn humiliated Southern and JMU couldn’t quite hold their own against Temple.  Except for ODU, I always root for the underdogs and they both lost yesterday.  I was only slightly saddened at JMU’s loss, since they went to the dance while my Lady Monarchs did not.  The men were impressive – they made it through the first round by defeating the 6th seeded Notre Dame, but lost to 3rd seed Baylor in round 2.  They played well after the first few minutes and I’m a proud alumna!

On to more exciting things – workouts.  I’m still working on Muscle & Fitness Hers Bikini Body Shape Up and did the upper body weight circuit again today.  It’s a toughie – my shoulders always burn, but I feel incredibly invigorated by the end of my session.  You can see the full workout here.   I added small amounts of weight to each exercise, warmed up with 20 minutes of elliptical at an average HR of 150 and cooled down with another 20 minutes of elliptical with an average HR of 140.  Total time = 1 hr. 30 mins.  Total cals = 911 and 50% fat. 

I was famished for this when I got home:

It was so exciting to use FRESH strawberries today instead of frozen.  You know summer is getting closer when the fresh berries hit the sale racks at the store.  Farewell citrus.  Hello happy berries!

I feel as if, after that bowl, I now have a brick in my belly.  Is it bad to want a nap at 9:30 am?!  I am going to beg the energy gods for some of their blessings and can get through some errands and tonight’s work shift.  Until later!


It’s Monday..

Ugh.  I really, really don’t like Mondays.  I especially dislike them when they follow a wonderful weekend!

We spent yesterday doing things that I love to do – having breakfast with Steve’s parents at my favorite – Broken Egg; seeing a movie with a big group of friends that I don’t see often enough; getting a good workout in; enjoying dinner & football with my husband.  It was awesome!

As mentioned, we went to see The Book of Eli.  Coming from a Christian background, I was extremely touched by the movie and the conclusion.  I won’t ruin it, but it is on my list of “Must-See Movies.”  Granted, there is quite a bit of gore/death, but it had a remarkable story line. 

I hit the gym right after the movie and got in a very quick, but effective, workout.  I only had 1 hr and 15 minutes until they closed so I did some intense elliptical time to warm up (2 1/2 miles in 20 minutes).  I completed a few circuits from the top of my head and cooled down with 15 more elliptical minutes.  I do love that machine, don’t I?  It’s so much easier on my knee than the treadmill. 

I had mentioned Plaza for Mexican food for dinner a few days back, but I was just not feeling it.  I made it up to Steve by suggesting Subway, which is always a hit.  After a dinner of Chicken and Baby Spinach salad (thrown into a Flat Out wrap), we watched the taped Vikings/Cowboys game and the Golden Globes.  Love, love, love looking at the dresses and hairstyles.  I envy those celebrities for being able to wear such amazing gowns on a regular basis!

I got another good workout in this morning.  Warmed up for 20 minutes on the… wait for it… elliptical.  I’ve done lots of circuits recently, so decided to target my triceps and shoulders today:

  1. Overhead press: 10 reps x 3 with 15# dumbells
  2. Tricep extension: 10 reps x 3 with 10# dumbells
  3. Lateral raises: 10 reps x 3 with 10# dumbells
  4. Cable tricep pressdown: 10 reps at 60#; 10 reps at 70#; 8 reps at 80#
  5. Front raises: 10 reps x 3 with 10# dumbells
  6. Tricep kickbacks: 10 reps x 3 with 10# dumbells

Cool down on the elliptical for 10 minutes and called it quits!  I came home to a breakfast out of my ordinary egg pillow –

Vanilla Chobani and a nice warm mug of Diet Swiss Miss.  I love a good cup of hot chocolate now and again 🙂

I’m having lunch with my family at Surf Rider (a local, yummy seafood place), then working a long shift at the gym today.  See you soon!



Today was probably the first full day of below 50 degrees here.  I was so unprepared when I stepped outside this morning to hit the gym.  I nearly headed back upstairs to crawl back in my still-warm bed!

Thursday ended up being a wonderful day.  Mom & I hit Garden Ridge and I got some really great goodies.  I’ll be sure to post pictures of our new decorations once they’re all up!  Our evening was spent with the ROCKETTES!  I was so much more impressed than I thought I would be.  The whole night, I was on the verge of tears – good tears though!  I always well up when I see something so impressive.  I desperately wanted to be a Rockette when I was younger.  My dance teacher even encouraged me to audition at one point.  Our seats were off to stage right, so we didn’t get the best view of the lines, but it was still amazing!

Our seat location and massive amounts of people:

My absolute favorite number – the Toy Soldiers:

Santas Galore:

Oh, those kicks:

Mom & I after the show:

And one of the best parts – my friend Paco, who was working security at the show, got covered in “snow” (forgive the blur):

It was a truly amazing experience!  So much better than on tv 🙂 

Workout wise, it’s been a restful 3 days.  I should say it’s been an incredibly restful 3 days.  I took Thursday and Friday off from the gym or yoga because of my legs.  They were hurting quite a bit, so I did some foam rolling and gave them a rest.  I returned to my regular workouts yesterday and am SO glad that I took a few days off!  I got a good 45 minutes of intervals in yesterday on the elliptical and a serious bi/tri workout in.  Today, I did 2o minutes of elliptical, a great leg workout and 15 minutes of jogging at 6 mph in.  Finishing up with an ab circuit wore me out!  I may even head to bed early tonight (altogether.. GASP!).

I promise a longer update tomorrow!

Hi Ya’ll!

Hiya! I'm Heidi, a 28-year-old "retired" student living in Virginia. I am a newlywed and currently on the hunt for a full-time job that will use either my Biology or Secondary Education degree. In the meantime, I work in retail and at an event venue part-time. When I'm not working, I love to kill hours at the gym, scrapbook, and act as a domesticated diva to keep my hubby happy!