Tuesday, July 18, 2017

More from Independence Day & things I need to remember

Hi everyone! We're back from vacation, the summer camps I've been working have ended and today was my first real day off in quite awhile.  No appointments, no running kids all over creation - just a few errands to run on any old schedule.  Yay! So I thought I'd take a few minutes to tell you about our vacation to Washington DC.

The best day by far was the 4th of July when my 2 kids marched in the National Independence Day Parade.  The route took them down Constitution Avenue right past the Washington Monument.  This was Katie's first performance with the band since being named Jr. Drum Major.

Mandy has joined the marching band this year and was such a trooper in DC.  Parade day was about 92 degrees.  When you march in the National parade you want to look your spiffiest which means full uniform... this also means you are really hot.

That night we attended the Capitol Fourth Concert on the lawn of the Capitol building.  It was so fun!  The Beach Boys were there and thy played my song.  I've been saying tho is for a couple weeks now.  I'm kind of shocked how many people respond with "what's your song?  Umm... people have been singing Help Me Rhonda at me my whole life.  (And I swear everyone thinks they are the first person to sing it *sigh*)

John Stamos hosted - he's still dreamy and doesn't seem to age.  

I really couldn't have been more happy with the fact that Ken was able to go with us.  His recovery from surgery in March has been difficult and slow-going.  We were over due for some fun.

I hope you & your family are enjoying every last bit of summer.  I feel like I'm still learning that life is short and can change on a dime.  I shouldn't take anything for granted.  I'm working on remembering that.  Feel free to remind me.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Capital Celebrations

Happy Independence Day to my friends in the US!

My family is celebrating in Washington DC! Katie & Mandy (my lovely daughters) will be marching in the National Independence Day Parade tomorrow.  Their school's marching band was chosen to represent our home state of Pennsylvania. 

I'll post parade pics later this week, but for now, here are a few things I'd like you to know:

1. Our tour guide talks an awful lot. I know, I know, that's her job.  But seriously, I don't need her to fill every single moment of my Day with weird stories. Katie & I look like this when she goes on for too long...

2. So far, the FDR Memorial has been my favorite. It includes many quotes that seem very relevant today. 

3. Ken used to be a High School band director. This is our first Marching Band trip in 17 years.

4. The Changing of the Guard and the Wreath-Laying Ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier are so beautiful. 
The bugler who played Taps was so good.  It never fails to make me teary-eyed. 

5. I truly hope your family has a wonderful day tomorrow. See you on the other side!

Monday, June 26, 2017

Randomly on a late Monday night.

Hello all! Here's a quick random update for you...

1. Last week and this week I am teaching music at a local Musical Theatre for kids.  The campers range in ages from 5 years old up to 15 or so.  It's a lot of fun to watch them learn and meet new friends with whom they share a common interest. I always say that music is magical and I'm usually not kidding.  It can change the way you feel.  To me, that's just amazing.

2. On Sunday, Katie & Mandy played at their annual piano recital.  This generally makes me a hot mess.  I play professionally all the time and never get as nervous as I am when the girls play.  Here's the problem- I can't help them! They have to sink or swim with nothing from me! This is rough for a mama.  They played great and I survived to play another day.

3. Next Sunday we depart for Washington D.C. where Katie & Mandy will perform in the 
National 4th of July Parade!

4. I've got a lot of work to do this week. But for now, it's late so I'm going to bed. 

Friday, June 9, 2017

Friday Night Partying

Hello friends, it's Friday night so naturally I'm partying...

If you guys know me at all you just cracked up a little.  I'm totally sitting on my couch writing to you.  When I'm done I'll probably knit or read until I head for my bed before 11:00 pm.  Crazy, right? Haha!

Today we got new appliances in our kitchen.  Our refrigerator died about a week and a half ago and our dishwasher was threatening to die so we used this opportunity to switch all of our appliances to stainless steel.  I must officially be a grown-up now because this makes me ridiculously happy.  I keep showing my kids the freezer drawer and how cool it is.  They are nice kids so they are pretending to care.

We've been storing the bare essentials of food in a cooler on our deck for the last week.  I've been attempting to remember to buy ice every day.  It's like camping! I hate camping.

To be honest, this arrangement has really cramped my style when it comes to eating healthy.  Food prep without a refrigerator or freezer just doesn't go well.  But now, no excuses.  It's on.

I signed up for the Oxygen Challenge 2017.  I chose Team Jamie.  I have been hesitant in the past to spend money on a plan because Jamie Eason's LiveFit Trainer is so amazing and it's free!  But- a new program from Jamie... that's worth money to me!

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Sprints Interrupted

Hello friends!

So last week I told you how I was starting my new workout program.  That went pretty well until Saturday.  I had to take my kids to get fitted for their marching band uniforms (more on that later) so I woke up knowing my time was limited.  I jumped on my treadmill for some sprints.  I figured I'd hurry up and get sweaty for 20 or 30 minutes.  A little bit of running is better than no running at all, right?

So I got about 10 minutes into my workout and suddenly my mid-back went into spasm.  I couldn't hit the stop button fast enough. I stepped off the treadmill and spent a little time being horizontal on my yoga mat which had been rolled out nearby.

I was really bummed because prior to the sudden back pain I was feeling great! My legs felt strong and I had just thought I might bump up the speed on the next sprint interval!  Ugh... it's fine, really.  I'll just lie down instead.  Whatever.

I have forced myself to take it easy this weekend.  I think my back is feeling better.  But I'm going to give it another couple of days before I run again.

But I'm gonna lift tomorrow...

Monday, May 29, 2017

Memorial Day Monday

Happy Monday!

It's Memorial Day, the unofficial start of summer.  But for me, summer officially starts when the kiddos are done with school. They have 8 days left before I can sleep in here and there.  
I am so ready.

Today I'm starting over with Jamie Eason's "From Flat to All That" program.  She gave it away for free awhile back, but it has since disappeared from the Bodybuilding.com website. Thankfully, I printed and laminated the whole thing.  I hope she finds an online home to share it in the future, but until then you can find her other workouts, including the LiveFit Trainer,  HERE.

The first two weeks each have only 4 days of circuit training and no cardio requirement.  Of course, I'm planning to sneak in a couple of runs.  I tend to be nicer when I run. 

I think I'm also going to make up a batch of her pumpkin protein bars.  I don't really think pumpkin-loving should be limited to fall.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Yoga Wednesday ~5/24~ Active Recovery

Hi friends!  Just checking in with you here on Wednesday morning.  I've got one kiddo on her bus already and about 10 minutes before I have to start dragging the other one out of bed.

Back when I first started running I did the Couch to 5K program which requires three days of running.  My days were Monday, Thursday, and Saturday.  On Tuesdays & Fridays I'd usually do a workout video of some kind. Wednesdays and Sundays were rest days. (Yes, I needed two.  Seriously, I had zero experience running.  The body was shocked)

Then I found yoga and Wednesdays became yoga days.  "Active recovery" is the term for this sort of day but I didn't know that at the time.  It's basically a day where you still get moving, but agree not to beat yourself up quite so much as other days.  Yoga & Pilates are great for Active Recovery days since they are low-impact and often recruit muscles that are ignored when you are running.

If you're new to yoga or you'd just like to try out this Active Recovery business,  I'd suggest checking out Udaya.com.  They have yoga practices of varying lengths as well as varying difficulty levels.  With many teachers to choose from and loads of information, you'll be certain to find something you like or need.

Udaya streams direct to you for $12/month (unlimited) but you can try it for 30 days free!  
(Good luck finding a yoga studio that will let you in for free)

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Starting Again

Here we go... let's re-boot the blog, shall we?

Friends, I have no excuse at all for leaving you.  I didn't have anything to say so I just stopped. But my health need a re-boot, so maybe the blog needs one too.  Maybe I have to throw all my craziness at you in order to get myself motivated, creative, and healthy.
Me & Ruger... best beagle ever.

So here are my goals...

1. Lose the excess weight that's just hanging around over here.  How? I'm going to focus on real food.  I'm avoiding grains...they're never nice to me.  They make me sluggish and fat.  Who needs that?

2. Exercise 6 days/week.  This includes cardio, lifting, and yoga or some combination of those three things.

3. Meet my step goal 6 days/week.  Right now it's set at 8,000 steps per day.  When I start meeting that goal on the regular I'll bump it back to 10,000 where it belongs.

4. Update the blog at least twice a week- hopefully 3 times.  Feel free to hassle me on my Facebook page if you don't hear from me.  

Saturday, July 23, 2016

I Confess... I'm a Fidgeter

My name is Rhonda and I fidget.

If you're not new here, you know that I'm a knitter. 
 I also enjoy multiple crafty hobbies and I play the piano.  In short, my hands need to be moving a lot.  I have troubling just watching TV.  Usually I'm knitting (I have specific TV-watching knitting.  It's the easy projects).  

But it turns out that I'm not alone.  Lots of people report being fidgeters and we are learning that fidgeting has it's benefits!  It's science... I didn't make this stuff up.

This summer I've been teaching at a music & theatre camp for kids.  We need them to sing and I need their attention but it can be hard for little kids (big ones too) to just be still.  So I provided them with "fidgets".  I had a basket on the piano and let them know that they were welcome to take one whenever they felt like it. 
 No need to ask permission.

These ones were easy and cheap.  
You can order the book rings HERE and a big bag of pony beads HERE.

The kids just loved these.  On their way into my classroom they stopped at the piano 
to pick out just the right fidget.  I used many colors, shapes and sizes.

Do you fidget?

Follow on Bloglovin

Monday, July 11, 2016

Knitter Problems- Summer Edition

Good Monday morning!

I thought I'd take a moment here to tell you about a little problem I'm having this summer.  Here it is...
All I want to do is crafts.  I mean, I want to knit and make wreaths and even stamp some cards
and make stitch markers... the list goes on.

And here's where we get into the problem. 

I have real-life responsibilities.  I have a couple of jobs
(freelancing means I always have more than one job going on) plus my family still expects clean underwear every once in awhile and the children have to be driven to rehearsal.  

So I put off the crafty-ness.  Then I procrastinate because I don't really want to do laundry or any of the other thousand things I should be doing.  The end result is that I don't do anything.

This has got to stop.

I'm going to go wash towels.  Or maybe I'll work on that washcloth I've been knitting...

* The washcloth yarn is Sugar 'n Cream Faded Denim

** If you're wanting to learn to knit, try a class from Craftsy

***There are loads of washcloth patterns (and loads of knitters) on Ravelry.

**** If you're crafty and in search of a fun, new project for summer with the kids,  try this book on Finger Knitting from Vickie Howell.  (she's seriously great)

(The Amazon links are affiliate links.  If you order by clicking on them, a small amount of money comes to me with no additional cost to you.  Thanks for your support)
Follow on Bloglovin

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Mini-Vacation 2016

Hey friends!  I hope you're as busy enjoying all things summer as I am!

We haven't made big plans for a big trip or anything like that, so we've been finding some fun close to home.

Thursday took us to Niagara Falls, USA (note to self- get passports for next year.) and the Maid of the Mist.  We live along the beautiful shores of Lake Erie, so happily this natural wonder is only a short drive for us.

I can't believe none of us had ever been on the Maid of the Mist before!  This ride was totally worth the lousy hairdo I had to sport once it was over.  If you've never been there, the boat takes you right up into the Horseshoe part of the Falls.  It was nothing short of amazing.

We could hear and feel the power of all that water all around us.
I'm so glad we did it.  This is definitely a great memory for all four of us.

On Friday we went to see "Finding Dory".  We LOVE "Finding Nemo".  It was the first movie that my oldest kid, Katie, got to see in the movie theatre.  (Technically Mandy was there too but she was in a baby seat and slept the whole time so we don't count that)

I think it's safe to say that we loved Dory's story just as much.
Spoiler Alert: Baby Dory is so adorable you can't even stand it.

Katie even brought Curl along.  Curl is the little pink octopus that has lived on Katie's bed since she was three.  By the way, she fully understood at three years old that the octopus in the movie's name is Pearl.  She told us that hers was named Curl and that was that. (3-year-old logic)

I hope you're having a great summer too!

P.S. As I looked back over this post I realized that we have a water theme going on here.  
I wonder what's coming next.

Follow on Bloglovin

More from Independence Day & things I need to remember

Hi everyone! We're back from vacation, the summer camps I've been working have ended and today was my first real day off in quite aw...