Houston, we have an update!

We just got back from Houston.  It has been 6 months again and that means that it was time for Brian to go to MD Anderson and get his 6 month check-up.  If you are new to my page, Brian was diagnosed with prostate cancer and he is seeing the doctors at MD Anderson in Houston.  Luckily, it is early stages and he is enrolled in their Watchful Waiting program.  This just means that he is not doing any treatment at this time, just waiting and watching.  Every 6 months, we head down and Brian gets blood work done, sees the nutritionist, the people involved in the Watchful Waiting program and the doctors.  Once a year, he has to get a biopsy.  This just happened to be the trip that he had to get the biopsy.  He does NOT like this part of the illness, but it is a necessary part so that we are all on the same page and know how the disease is progressing.  His PSA (Prostate- Specific Antigen) blood test came back a little higher than the last one, so he definitely had to have the biopsy.  But, good news on that front.  The doctor called this morning and his Gleason Score remained the same.  So, Brian has decided to clean up his diet and start exercising again, of course this makes me happy, but I’d love for it to be for a different reason.

When we go to Houston every time, we split the trip up so we don’t have to drive all the way there an back.  We stay at Durant Oklahoma.  Why you ask?  Well, there is a VERY nice hotel and casino there ~  Choctaw Casino. It’s clean, the rooms are nice and of course, Brian loves the casino! The staff is very nice as well!  All the more reason to stay there!

We checked out the pool and I think I could spend some time here for sure!  We also ate a Gilley’s.  I couldn’t get Brian to ride the mechanical bull, but we enjoyed it anyway!  We really do like staying here!

casino pool

We took our time coming home and stopped at several casinos along the way.  We had a good time and tried not to worry about the outcome of the biopsy!  So, all in all a good report and more waiting and watching for the next 6 months.

 

A few favorites!

It’s been a while since I’ve done a my favorite things posts, so maybe I should clue you in on a few fun things!

favorite things

I’ve been using a new hair-styling tool.  I love it because I do not have curly hair at all.  In the past if I’ve tried to curl my hair, it looks GREAT for about 5 MINUTES, then it is back to flat and straight. It‘s just the way my hair is.  Why is it that women always want what they don’t have?  Have straight hair and want curly?  Have curly hair and want straight…. never satisfied!  BUT, I can have the best of both worlds now!!  I bought a Jose Eber curling wand.  This is a wonderful invention for my straight hair.  I got mine from amazon ( I LOVE to shop online).  

 curling wand This puppy gets HOT!  It took me several tries to figure it out and I burned myself several times!! So, beware and be careful.  Check out youtube.com for tips on how to use it.

Another hair related product I am loving is the new shampoo and conditioner I am using.  Juice Organics.  It smells yummy and makes me hair soft and it is not expensive!  YAY!  You can get it at Whole Foods or again on amazon.com.

juice organics

 

While I was unable to workout with my usual routine, I got a rebounder.  I LOVE it!  It is so easy to hop on and bounce and not only do you get a good, low-impact workout, but you also do soo much good for your body!

rebounder  Madelyn has been enjoying this too.  I had it in the living room for a while and would bounce while I watched tv in the evenings, but I’ve moved it to the bedroom.  Too cluttered in our family room!  Even though I am back to working out with T25, I am still using this!

I have to mention Focus T25 – I am really loving this workout and I’m seeing results.  My 2 week stats are 2 lbs  and 5 1/2 inches – GONE, baby, GONE!!  Of course, I have to give some credit to my shakeology too.  I am loving the new vanilla shakeology as well as my FAVORITE – vegan chocolate!

T25 challenge pack promoIMG_0818

 

Oh and I almost forgot – I got one of the best things.  When I go for walks, I don’t always have pockets in my shorts or sweats.  Since it is hot, I don’t wear a jacket either and what do you do with your keys, phone etc?  Well, I found a fantastic carrier.  Now, Brian laughed at me and said it was just a glorified fanny pack, but I love it!  It really just looks like an extension of your shirt.

hipsterhipster walker

Check out their facebook page to get one for yourself.  They come in all sizes and colors!  They have a zipper in the front and back and a pocket for your phone!  Works like a charm!

I can’t let a favorite post go by without mentioning my kindle.  I got the paperwhite a few months ago and let me tell you – it is the best one!  I love not needing a light at night and that I can read by the pool too!  I was worried that it might give me eye strain like the computer, but it doesn’t.  I can read all day long 🙂  I LOVE to read, just in case you didn’t know…..

kindle paperwhite

I got a cool cover for mine that I can prop up and read.  Even better!  Mine is purple!

kindle case

 

And last but certainly not least, a friend of mine got one of these cool phone carrier/wallet things and I am in LOVE  I so wish I could carry it only all the time, but I have too many things to carry around – Brian’s things mostly LOL!  I got mine at the Icing store, but I have heard they have them at Dollar General too. Mine is a little blinged out – if you know me, you know I love my bling!  Black and sparkly!

IMG_0145IMG_0146

 

So, these are a few of my current favorite things!  What are you loving right now that I need to know about?

 

If you are laughing, you are having fun!

So, as you may know, we have family dinner most Sunday nights at our house.  I look forward to this night all week.  I LOVE spending time with the kids.  I’m so blessed in the fact they all get along and we enjoy each other’s company.

This week was enchilada night.  The kids always love enchiladas and I try to make enough that everyone can take some home.  This week was no exception.  However, I did get a watermelon for dessert and everyone was so full from dinner that I decided not to cut the watermelon.  Nick decided that he needed to cut the watermelon.  Little did I know that he hadn’t done this before.  I gave him a few verbal instructions and left him to it.  I mean, how hard is it.  You just cut it, right?  WRONG!

I finally got up to see what all the laughing in the kitchen was about and this is what I found

IMG_0958 Nick had cut the watermelon into the strangest shapes.  We had large pieces, small piece, pickle shaped pieces, VERY thin pieces…..  you name it, it was on the platter.  It didn’t stop anyone from eating it, but we laughed as much as we ate.  Chase and Morgan thought it tasted like onions, not sure what that is all about, but between all of us the whole thing was almost finished off.

So, Nick, if you would read my blog, you would know how to cut a watermelon the easiest way.   Check this out for future reference.  There will be a test next weekend!

My favorite Madelyn quote from family dinner ” I love laughing.  If you are laughing, you are having fun!”  Smart girl!

I’m going to start working on my workout area in the basement.  I usually workout on the tile floor, and it really does seem to hurt my joints more.  So, I moved an area rug down there, but all the movement with T25 is making the rug move around.  I’m thinking about getting those mat flooring tiles and I think it will work better.  I got the new tv hooked up and it is ready for use!  I’ll take some photos as soon as I get it done!

The results from the T25 Challenge group week 1 are in and they are phenomenal.  My personal stats are 2 lbs lost and 3 1/2 inches lost.  Not too shabby!  The entire group lost 13 lbs and 15 inches in the first week!  I’m thrilled!

There is still time to join our challenge group.  You will just be a couple of weeks behind us.  So, let me know if you want to join the fun!

Playground Workout!

I’m always looking for new and fun ways to get in shape.  I came across the opportunity to get some info from Chris Freytag on working out at the playground!

PierceParkPlayground

Working out at the Playground

We spend so much of the winter indoor and inactive. While the weather is warm, take advantage by going outside for a great workout. Take any opportunity to get moving and get outside with these great playground exercises. These moves can be done at a local park or playground near your home or while traveling. While being a playground feels like fun, any movement is fitness and the effectiveness of these activities can be measured on body monitoring devices like BodyMedia. By incorporating fun and movement rather than strict ‘gym workout’ into your routine, the workout mentality becomes much more enjoyable. Movement throughout your day adds up and you by tracking these numbers, you can find the motivation to be active. You will be surprised with how much activity can be achieved with these playground moves by Chris Freytag, health and wellness expert and ACE certified fitness instructor.

  1. Pull-ups on the monkey bars are the ultimate test of upper-body strength and very hard to do. This exercise targets the biceps, shoulder and back.
  2. Pushups on the swings. Put your feet in the swing and hands on the ground for a decline pushup. This is challenging because your feet are moving as you bend your elbows and lower your ground to the ground. This targets the chest, shoulders and core.
  3. Abdominal tuck on the swings. In the same pushup position, put feet on top of the swing and hands plants on the ground. Pull your knees towards your chest slowly and then back out to the pushup position, targeting the core muscles.
  4. Lunge with one foot in the swing, one foot on the ground so that your back foot is elevated. Extend the back leg as you lower yourself to the ground in a lunge then return to starting position. Swing legs after a full set. This lunge targets the quads, hamstrings and glutes
  5. Mountain climbers on a park bench. Place your palms on the bench in a push up position. Pull knees in towards your chest one at a time, stabilizing the lower back. Alternate pulling in each knee with increased speed. This targets the chest, shoulder, legs and core.  
  6.   Box squats. Using an elevated platform or stair, jump up onto the platform with bended knees    and finishing with a squat. Step back down and continue to squat down then continue the          movement to land on the platform.  The targets the quads, hamstrings and glutes. 

So, when you have time to take your little ones to the playground, you can work on your fitness too!

Fun filled weekend!

Oh boy, this has been a wonderful weekend!  We had a surprise birthday party for a friend on Friday night and he was surprised!  Yay!  Mission accomplished.  We took him out for dinner and then over to  Buffalo Run Casino to the Trailer Park for a fun night.  I had no idea about the Trailer Park, but it is a cool place.  Even better is that we have all known about the party for a LONG time and no one spilled the beans.  He was surprised and so excited!

trailer parkme and herminaSomehow I didn’t get a photo of the birthday boy, go figure. Falling down on my job!

Last night was my 30th Class reunion.  Yes, I’m old, it’s okay, I know it!  We had a blast and I just love catching up with everyone.  We had it set up that it would just be our class for the first hour and a half and then any other graduates from our school could join us.  We had a GREAT turnout and a good time!

IMG_0926I also got to spend some time with my girls.  Emma, Morgan and I went shopping on Friday for things for their new house and then Madelyn came over to stay with me for a while on Saturday and we got some quality pool time in!  She loves to swim and Emma is changing every time I see her!

Emma 12madelyn 7

I think today will be a somewhat rest day, I need to do some cleaning and laundry and read and then get ready for Sunday Family  Dinner!  I hope you enjoy your Spirit Sunday!

 

Crazy Busyness!

I’ve had such a busy couple of days.  I’ve been meeting myself coming and going.

Eye update:  After all the excitement and the fact that I thought all was well with my eye, I got an infection.  DARN it!  So, I have some medications thanks to my dear Uncle Joe ( my eye doctor) and I think it is getting better.

Wednesday the girls were here.  We had another house full of people, but it was ALL GOOD!  We’ve about decided that Emma may never have to walk or talk!  I know she is only 6 weeks old, but everyone wants to love up on her all the time!

IMG_0139IMG_0138Emma 5

Even with all the crazy busyness going on, I managed to get a mani/pedi!  I used the gel nail polish last time and I had seen on pinterest a new way to get the polish off ( if you haven’t used it, it is a BEAR to get off).  I was so surprised when my nail place was using this technique!

fingers

Worked like a charm!

Yesterday was the craziest day!  I started my morning off with a haircut ( I have my 30th Class Reunion this weekend, a girl’s gotta look her best you  know!) and after that my day just started falling apart.  Not that anything bad happened, just that all the things I had planned didn’t happen.  I was “putting out fires” all day long.

Today is day 5 of the 5 day quickstart on the T25 Challenge Group!  I’ve done well so far, followed the workouts and the meal plan.  I can’t wait until tomorrow morning to see my results!  I’ll be sharing mine and some of our challenge group members as well!  I know one girl is down almost 6 lbs already!  So excited for her!

Mads and I did manage to get a little pool time in as well ( I guess it wasn’t all crazy busyness after all huh?)

Mads pool time 1

Mads pool time 2

Madelyn told me that you have to sit out and get REALLY hot before you swim!  I just love her!

 

 

Louisiana Fever

I absolutely loved New Orleans when Brian and I visited there a  year or so ago.  We had a blast and are planning on going back there this year.  We walked all over the place and I am sure we didn’t even touch the surface of all there is to do and see.

So, when I was given the opportunity to review a book set in New Orleans, I jumped at the chance.  Louisiana Fever by DJ Donaldson was a good book.  You all know that I love to read and that I devour them and I love all genres of books.

Louisiana Fever_cvr_WebLouisiana Fever is a good medical thriller.  There was a lot of information to take in, but the story moved along and kept me reading and interested right from the beginning.

From Publishers Weekly

The paths of two unrepentant killers are unexpectedly linked as their deadly intentions play out in steamy New Orleans. One is a pathological smuggler of rare birds. The other is a small insect, the carrier of a deadly virus and a passenger inside one of the birds. One of the first to fall victim to the virus is the smuggler’s partner, who dies just as he’s made contact with Kit Franklyn, an expert in criminal psychology, who, with her sleuthing partner, medical examiner Andy Broussard, has appeared in four previous books, most recently New Orleans Requiem. Donaldson entertains even as the gruesome death count mounts. The icy logic of Roy, the human killer, is effectively offset by rotund, good-natured Andy’s mental agility. Both he and Kit confront serious, life-threatening dangers and some life-changing realities before the predators are effectively contained. Against the humid, wild and funky Crescent City setting, Donaldson delivers some genuinely heart-stopping suspense, such as the moment the insect assassin crawls purposefully across a kitchen floor in search of an open wound and fresh blood.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
I really enjoyed the characters Andy Broussard and Kit Franklyn and the way they interacted.  You could tell they really cared about each other. However, I kept feeling the creepy crawlies while I was reading the book.
if you enjoy this type of book,  this one is a MUST read!
Pick up your copy at your favorite bookstore or if you are an e-reader addict like me just follow the appropriate link!

Amazon:  http://amzn.to/15wIN4l

B&N:  http://bit.ly/1abExIw

Astor+Blue:   http://bit.ly/11CS4c0

If you decide to read it, please let me know what you think.

I was given a free copy of this book in return for a honest review.

Lookout, New Orleans, we’ll be back soon!

Reason #2,479 Not to Use the Vacuum!

Today is the day!

I started my T25 challenge group.  I drank my shake with berries for breakfast and just got done with my workout.  T25 Cardio – loved it!  I got good and sweaty and moved my body!  I am just so glad that I am feeling well enough to start a new workout.  It’s been a while and I am praying that I continue feeling GREAT as I go through this program.  I took my measurements, weighed and got my before pics done.  Not too happy with those, but I know the results I get will make up for it!

Last night I discovered reason #2,479 not to use the vacuum.

vacuum  Isn’t this a cool, pink vacuum?  Mine isn’t pink, but looks similar to this one.

Marley woke up about 3 and decided she REALLY needed to go outside to potty.  I get up and let her out, stumbling around, take her out and getting ready to put her back to bed ( she sleeps in the laundry room due to Brian’s allergies) and I completely forgot that I had moved the vacuum.  As I was bending down to put her down, I slammed my left eye into the vacuum handle.  OUCH!  There is nothing worse than the shock of slamming your face into anything, let alone when you are half asleep.  I immediately cried out and grabbed my eye, Marley ran off to the bedroom and I made my back there and fell into the bed and told Brian he would HAVE to put her back in bed.  He came back to check on me and I was whimpering and whining and he told me he just KNEW it hurt BAD since I was limping when I came into the bedroom.  Why oh why do I limp when I hurt something other than my legs?  I was up for most of the night because it hurt! Darnit!  I was afraid I would have a black eye this morning, but so far, I am good to go.  It’s still a little sore and a little bloodshot, but I think I will live!  Just one more reason to add to the ever growing list about not running the vacuum!

We have had a house full of company and got Bill finished moving this weekend.  David left this morning and we are picking Bill up to take him to the doctor in Arkansas again.  He has to get a shot in his eye, so my eye injury doesn’t seem too bad in comparison.  Then he is going to stay with us for a couple of days.  All is good!

This is going to be a super busy week, but a fun one.  I have my 30th class reunion this weekend.  I am so looking forward to catching up with my classmates!  Yes, I know I’m old!!

 

Tell your Boss, I said so!

It’s always a good day when  you get your work done, your workout done and you find some time for a little playtime!

all work

I spent a large portion of my day in the office.  It was a mess, looked like someone dumped a trashcan out on my desk.  So, I tamed the beast so to speak.  I still have some more work to finish up today, but I should have it under control and DONE!

After working, Brian and I met up with friends for dinner.  We have a great group of friends and we laughed all night long.  The owner of the restaurant came by and told us that she loves it when we are in because we always have so much fun!  We are loud and the guys can get a little obnoxious, but we always have fun!

David was really getting into his story.  He was wearing Brandi’s glasses and his eyes looked HUGE!

david.jpg

There is still time to join the T25/Shakeology Challenge.  We are starting Monday, but if you place your order today, you will just be one week behind us.  There are a few in our group that are doing just that.  no worries.  We are starting with the 5 day Fast track, so if you just jump in when you get your program, you will not be far behind at all.  Remember, we have a private accountability/support group to help you get the best results possible.  AND the results the test group got with this program is AMAZING!

T25 josh before after

When you add in Shakeology with the workouts and the meal plan, you have no choice but to get the results  you are looking for.  I will be posting mine as I go along, so stay tuned!

To purchase T25 click here

To purchase Shakeology:  click here ~ Remember, we now have Vanilla Shakeology available.  My favorite is still the Vegan Chocolate!

If you are interested in both, check out the challenge packs – BEST VALUE!

If you do decide to order and want in the challenge group, please make sure to get in touch with me so I can get you into our group!  Its going to be EPIC!

Be sure to add a little playtime into your work day!  It’s good for your health, tell your boss I said so!

A lot of people = a big mess!

Good Morning!  So much has gone on the past couple of days.

My parents came into town and that always makes me happy.  Virginia came with them and they got to enjoy the girls ( Madelyn and Emma) on Wednesday and we just had the best time.  It was a house full of people all day long.  My niece Julie came by for a while, my friend Julie and her grand-daughter Olivia came by and then all the kids came over for a great family dinner.  We spent some time in the pool too!

virginia

Yesterday was a big day – I started off the morning with a dentist appointment.  I am still having work done on my teeth – widening my jaw and pushing some teeth forward.  I’m hoping that this will help with my TMJ pain and the always wonderful Dr. Scott Goldstein is really good at what he does!  I get to tighten them every 3 days now – OH JOY!  I know it will be worth it.  Hoping to be finished with all this in March.  Just a few more months to go!

On the way to Anderson, I was ready to enjoy the drive with the tops out of the Jeep.  I grabbed a ball cap and was on my way – too bad I didn’t think about grabbing a ponytail holder.  I should’ve, talk about a tangled mess!

tangled

After the dentist, I met a good friend for lunch.  We haven’t really talked in years, but one thing I have found is that with your true friends, it doesn’t matter.  We got caught up and it was like we never lost touch!  I was so grateful to get to spend time with her.  Made my day!

When I got home, Mom and Virginia had been busy ~ my house was all cleaned up ( a lot of people = a big mess) and laundry was folded.  What a nice surprise!  Thanks girls!

Dinner was with a couple of friends and it was a good conversation.  It was unplanned, so always good.  I had started some veggies and she had some organic chicken.  Voila – a GREAT meal!

Also, this beauty was growing in our side yard.  There is only one of them and it is pretty cool!

sunflower.jpg

All in all, a pretty great day!