Second week

 Posted by
Feb 012012

It’s my second week back at the gym and things are going well.  Last week I posted my routine for a day but did not update on the rest of the week.  Here is my recap.

Wednesday 1/25:  Took two Less Mills classes: CXWORX (30 min.) and RPM (60 min but usually 45 minutes).  I love RPM, especially with good instructors like a good friend of mine.  CXWORX was ok.  It’s a new release and having tried an older release, I prefer the older one.  Other than my weight routine and these classes, I helped Carlos arrange firewood in our house, and we went to pick up more wood and then unload it.  I never would have thought loading and unloading wood would be such a great workout, but it kept me from gaining weight up until Christmas, at which point cookies were baked and the will power died, lol!

Anyhow.  This week has been busy.  I had an initial interview with a staffing agency about a position.  I’ve been shopping for clean food and prepping so that its easy to grab and go; hitting the gym and walking the dogs.  Good thing I’m not working, yet = )  Prepping food is great because it helps me avoid eating something that will not get my closer to my goals.  I’m not talking about fast food like Burger Kind and McDonald’s, my husband and I gave up on that type of food a long time ago.  What I am talking about is Chipotle.  It’s so yummy!  We use to buy it often, but we always get a bowl with double meat, so we are able to make two meals out of it!  Makes the cost about $4.50 per meal, not too bad, we think.

OK.  About my training.  We are walking the dogs more often and the walks are about 3.5-4 mph.  Very soon I want to start training to run a 5K.  This will mean I have to walk/run for 30 minutes a day, 3 days a week.  Additionally, I’ll be following Jamie Eason’s LiveFit 12 Week Trainer.  I followed it last year for 8 weeks and dropped 10 lbs, most importantly, I dropped a size!

So, this week’s training looks like this (only gone to the gym one day!).   Though it was not the 1st week of the trainer, that starts Monday 2/13.  This week and next week will be prep weeks remind my muscles about weights = )

Wednesday 2/01

Bench Press: 45×15, 50×10, 55×10

Dumbbell Shoulder Press: 10×10, 12.5×12, 12.5×12

Flat Bench Dumbbell Press: 12.5×10, 15×10, 15×10

Front Delt Raise to a “T”: 7.5×10, 7.5×10, 7.5×10

Wide Pushups: 3 sets of 12

Narrow Pushups: 3 sets of 12

Side Lateral Raises: 7.5×12, 5×12, 5×12

Seated Bent Over Rear Delt Fly: 5×12, 5×12

Overhead Triceps Dumbbell Extensions (2 hands): 7.5×12, 10×12, 10×12

Triceps Pushdowns (with v/Bar): 60×12, 60×12, 60×12

I had thought about going to do another CXWORX and RPM (60 min), but my husband suggested I let the muscles repair.  Tomorrow is my Push day which means training back and biceps.  Friday morning I’ll be training legs and abs.  Also, Friday we head out of town.  It’ll be a quick trip…we are going back home to PA.  More on that next week!

Its time to start my homework.  We are reviewing Antecedent Agreement.  And I’d like to get dinner ready for when Carlos comes back from his class.  Then time for a doggie walk, though we may skip it as 3 of the fur kids are limping.

So, how is everyone’s week going?  Have you started a new plan or project?

Jan 272012

As I said in yesterday’s post, here is a recipe for Chocolate Protein Bars.  This recipe can be found on  Please note, I have tweaked it just a bit and you may do so yourself for your needs.

Chocolate Protein Bars


1 cup Oat Flour

4 Egg Whites

2 scoops BSN Chocolate Milk Shake or Gaspari Nutrition Chocolate Peanut Butter

½ cup Stevia

½ tsp Baking Soda

¼ tsp Salt

8oz Apple Sauce

3 tbsp Baking Cocoa

4oz Water or Almond Milk


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix dry ingredients (oat flower, protein powder, Stevia, baking soda, salt, and baking cocoa) together in a large bowl.
  3. Mix wet ingredients (egg whites, Apple Sauce, Water or Almond Milk) together in a medium sized bowl.
  4. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix together.
  5. Spray cooking dish with a non-stick butter spray and add batter to dish.
  6. Bake 20-30 minutes in oven.

Makes 16 squares, serving size=2 bars.

When I make these bars,  I double the recipe, that is why you see a larger Pyrex dish.

Enjoy.  We did!

~ L.

Back to the gym

 Posted by
Jan 252012

To the gym that is = )  As mentioned here, I want to lose weight and get in shape.  I have been going to the gym this whole month, however, yesterday was my first day with a plan.  To start, I’m not going to overly stress about the eating part of this fitness journey.  For two weeks, my goal is to make it to the gym a minimum of 4 days and do a combination of cardio, like running, and weights along with my BodyFlow and RPM classes.  I would love to get into Kettlebells again, but I can’t pay a trainer right now and don’t feel confident to do it on my own…its easy to get hurt with Kettlebells if not doing proper form.  Its easy with any exercise but specially free weights and Kettlebells.

Anyway, yesterday (Monday Jan 23), I took an RPM class with my friend and favorite RPM instructor Monica.  She rocks! and can motivate me to push hard.  Even though I don’t seem to be built for endurance exercises, I still enjoy riding the indoor bike and I try really hard to be fast on the speed tracks.  I home one day, not too long from now I can push harder and be Ms. Speedy = )

Back in December I tried out a class called BodyPump.  Its a good class, but I prefer lifting free weights.  So today, I got back into lifting.  It was an easy but workout, I did feel the burn and was surprised how heavy 60lbs on the bench press and 12.5 lbs on dumbbell shoulder press were.  Wow, I felt weak!  I didn’t it let it get to me though, I kept going, but I did sped up the workout for it to be a little more of a circuit training.  I was seating!  After the weights, I got on the Arc Trainer (which I prefer over the Elliptical) and was on that for 20 minutes.    All and all, I felt great and was very happy that I finally got back to weight training.  I’m looking forward to legs and abs day tomorrow, though I’m not sure what will be my plan of attack.  I’ll keep you posted!

Here is the routine I did today:

Bench Press: 45×15, 55×10, 60×10

Dumbbell Shoulder Press: 10×10, 12.5×10, 12.5×10

Triceps Cable Extensions w/V Bar: 50×10, 60×12, 60×15

Side/Front Shoulder Raises: 7.5/10 x 10, 7.5/10 x10

Single Dumbbell Tricep Kickbacks: 7.5×10, 10×10, 10×10

Wide Pushups: 2 sets of 10

Narrow Pushups: 2 sets of 10

Side-to-Side Pushups: 2 sets of 10

Whoa!  Got tired by remembering those pushups.  Its amazing how one can be strong in lifting weights, yet not so strong with body weight exercises!  The later is an area I really want to improve.  More on that as my journey progresses.

Check back again tomorrow for a recipe = )

~ L.

Jan 182012

Today I got my first writing assignment back and I thought I’d post it here for you all, especially because  I’m taking my English class to improve my grammar/writing.  This first work is just a paragraph, so its pretty short.


Shopping for Clothes and Shoes

  For a number of reasons, unlike most women, I do not like shopping for clothes or shoes.  The first reason is that being fashionable can be a costly endeavor.  Even a single pair of pants can set me back more than $50, depending on where I buy them at.  For this reason, I prefer to buy clothing items only when I need them.  The second reason why I do not like clothes shopping is because of the patience required.  Although most women I know do not mind walking into a store changing room with five different outfits and trying them all on, I do not possess that level of patience.  I usually get frustrated when the first two clothing items that I try on do not fit me properly, and then I start to get hot and cannot wait to get out of the store.  The third reason, that I get annoyed with stores offering many brands and each brand makes their clothing to certain body types that are different from mine; for example, designer A’s size ten is not the same as designer B’s size ten.  As mentioned previously, I tend to buy clothes or shoes only when I need something new.  I feel happy and satisfied when I come home with something new that I like and feel good wearing, but I simply cannot stand the whole clothes shopping experience.  Perhaps one day I will feel differently, and I will enjoy going out with my girlfriends to the mall.  For now, I will continue to avoid adding new items to my wardrobe unless necessary.

Believe it or not, I got a 98, a score higher than I expected.  This paragraph was not hard because I do not enjoy shopping (unless its at places like Lowe’s and Home Depot), so coming up with a few examples was easy.  Though I prefer short writing assignments, from here on out, I’ll have to write a couple of essays of 500 words and two other ones of at least 750 words.

Writing is not easy for me.  More often than not I hit road blocks where I feel like my mind cannot function, even about topics I’m passionate about such as animals, consumerism, and fitness.  As I go along with my class and writing assignments, I’ll be sure to share with you my graded work.

Feel free to share your “constructive” criticism, but please be nice = ) and wish me luck!

~ L.

2012 goals

 Posted by
Jan 052012

Happy Friday!

Even though I currently don’t have a job, I still look forward to the weekend.   I think that’s a bit silly, but I guess it has to do with still being used to having a ‘regular’ routine.  Plus, I am in school, though I’m taking just one class, at 7 am!  Crazy, I know, especially given all the time I have during the day.  However, I intentionally signed up for such an early time so that when I find a job, I won’t need to drop the class.

Anyhow, before we get too deeply into 2012, I wanted to share some of our (my) goals for this year.

  1. Post on the blog 2-3 times a week.
  2. Learn WordPress!  I plan on checking online tutorials and maybe buying a book.  Even though I could find everything there is to learn online, I like to have a book as a reference.
  3. Read at least 6 books (fiction, non-fiction, business, and self-help/motivational).
  4. Walk our dogs at least 3 days per week, once a day, around the neighborhood or a nearby park.  Take them to the larger parks at least once over the weekend.  This in addition to all their play time in our yard.
  5. Loose at least 3o lbs by cleaning up my diet and exercising 5-6 days a week.  More to come on this journey.
  6. Start new traditions!  Carlos and I are very easy going and laid back people.  We don’t do many things for our anniversary, birthdays, etc.  It’s never too late to start traditions, so after being married almost 14 years, I would like to start.  However, because we don’t have dog sitters and boarding them would be so expensive, we need to figure out local and inexpensive traditions as well as ones to include the fury gang.  Any ideas are welcome!
  7. Visit my family in AZ.  We visited them back on June 2010, and had intentions of going again this past summer, but due to our job situation it was not possible.  My plan was to visit them either in the Spring or after the Spring semester at school is over, which would be the end of May.  However, my mom mentioned she’d like to spend another Christmas with the whole family, we might not go until December, to spend the holidays with them – hopefully in Mount Lemon.
  8. To not procrastinate!  We have a things (lists) we need to get done around the house, and I think it would be best to tackle them – if possible – before we start new jobs.  This would allow us to have the weekends to do fun projects, relax, and do things we enjoy, such as spending time with our dogs.

I watched a video by Gina Aliotti, and it just made sense to me to set my goals by using the SMART model.  f I didn’t, this list would have over 20 items!  SMART means, Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely.  I tried to come up with goals that would not be difficult to attain even when I get a job.  Wish me luck, and patience!

Did you set any resolutions or goals?  I would love to hear what you would like to accomplish this year.

~ L.

Jan 042012

Welcoming the New Year has given new meaning to the phrase, “time flies,” for me.  I cannot believe 2011 is already over!

A rundown of our Holidays…

First, our free Christmas tree:

I think it came out lovely!  This was the first time I was in charge of putting the lights on the tree.  Carlos did lend a hand, but he didn’t do it all like he usually does.  And yes, it was free.  Since Carlos and I are still searching for jobs, we decided that we would just use our little artificial tree, which is quite pretty by the way.  Six days before Christmas, Carlos saw an ad on craigslist (he’s always looking for goodies on CL) about someone who was offering Christmas trees for free to whomever wanted them.  Carlos quickly sent an email to the individual who posted the ad, and the next day he told me that he needed to go out, and would be back soon.  When Carlos returned home, he called me to our carport, and lo and behold, we had a Christmas tree.  It was a nice one too!

We didn’t buy a bunch of presents for each other, but we are very happy with the few things we each received.  We did splurge on one thing – an extra large Big Shrimpy dog bed for our furry kids.  We bought it at our local pet store, Phydeux.  The bed is huge, but all 350 pounds of our five dogs can lay on it together.  They all really like the bed, and we got a great deal too!  The bed normally retails for well over $200, but we got it for $150.  It feels strange to me to write that $150 is a great deal for a dog bed, but the thing is huge and it’s made really well with tough materials.  The shell of the bed is extremely liquid resistant, and he filling is inside of a second, rip-stop nylon shell.  It’s awesome!  All of the dog bed that we’ve purchased in the past lost their resiliency well within a year, but I think this bed will stay cushy for a long time.  This big bed will also allow us to get rid of a few old beds, making our space look better.

What else did we do?  Oh yes, we ate.  A lot!  We fell a tree or two, and cut up a bunch of wood to use in our wood stove next winter (more on that later).  New Year’s eve came and we ate again.  A lot.  We had a bunch of snacky type foods, which is kind of our tradition for New Year’s eve,  and we had a bottle of champagne.  On New Year’s day, we ate a lot more.  We also had a second bottle of champagne in the fridge, so we enjoyed some mimosas with brunch.  Our holidays were fun, and as usual it was just the two of us = )

Hope you all had a great Holiday and that you all are ready to tackle 2012.  Wish you all the best!


 Posted by
Nov 122011

No, its not the Avery labels. Its a sofa. A little while ago I was browsing on the World Market website and saw the sofa I’ve been ogling for months.  I’ve been wanting to get a sofa for our fireplace living room.  Due to lack of money, lack of vision for this particular room, and not finding something small and of a style that both my husband and I would like, we hadn’t purchased anything.  Also, with our dining room basically being the same physical space as the fireplace living room and having a dining table that is too big for our space, we needed something small for the area so that it would not feel/look too crowded.  When I came across the Avery at World Market, I thought it was perfect!  And my husband really liked it too!

Back in June, it was 50% off its regular price of $799.  With the discount, it would come out to to $399!  I also had a coupon for $50 off.  So, the price of the sofa would be only $349.99! plus tax of course = )

With the savings, its was definitely worth to make the purchase.  With that said, here is the Avery Sofa:

Isn’t it nice?!  Its on the firm side but that’s ok with me.  Now that its in the room though, we see there is no way to add more seating.  Possibly an armless chair.  We’ll either add two storage ottomans to use as coffee tables which can double as extra seating when needed or use the current coffee table that’s there now (more on that later.)  We’ll definitely need a few pillows to tone down the dark leather and dark floors.

Paint.  Another thing to do in this large room.  We’d like to use the same paint color for the fire place living room, dining room and kitchen.  The kitchen area is very small and because all these 3 areas are basically one large room, we think its best to use the same color and differentiate each room with a rug and/or accessories.

Aah, I am glad we have something to sit on next to the dining area. Best thing…our dogs have not gotten on it!  They are well trained!

Has anyone made recent purchases (or not so recent, mine was from back in June!)?

Nov 082011

Earlier in the year I had posted about getting new windows vs a fireplace insert.  We made the decision to get new windows, and in February, these were installed.  Well, now that we have the new windows installed, we attempted to re-install the white faux wood plantation shutters and there is not enough space!  So, we need new window treatments!!  Right now our bedroom has one window uncovered and one window has a dog blanket as a curtain!  First we’d like to cover our bedroom windows and  the master bath.  The other windows can be done slower.  My predicament is if I should go with roman shades or curtains?!  I’m unsure about the options and like both ideas.  I would like the master bedroom to have a modern/contemporary feel yet relaxing.   The guest bedroom I want to feel comfortable and homie…I think an traditional/eclectic feel would be nice.  With our third bedroom, aka current office, I’m go between modern and traditional styles.  So, after all this, I haven’t a clue what we will be doing.  I’ll be looking for some inspiration.  I see a visit to Pinterest in my near future!

Has anyone done any window treatment updates?

Nov 072011

I had hoped my first experience with choosing curtains and installing a rod would go smoothly.  I should have realized – especially after reading other blogs – that sometimes, things just don’t go as planned.  Of course, this is not a huge deal but, I’ve been anxiously waiting until I could get this done and now that I can, it does not work.  It’s OK tough, it’s a learning experience.

I purchased these curtains from JCP in Tawny Brown for the French patio doors along with some Allen Roth finials, curtain brackets and rod all in Walnut color from Lowe’s.  I like everything,  but the rod is too wide for the curtain’s grommets.  My options are:

  1. Take the items back to Lowe’s and get a store credit and use the credit for another project, maybe some Olympic paint
  2. Take the rod back and look for a thinner one and hope it works with the finials and curtain brackets
  3. Return the items for a store credit and look for something different at Lowe’s or another store

I looked in JCP when I purchased the curtains but the rods were more than what I wanted to spend.  I looked in Target to see what I find but I didn’t like the rods available.   Campbell Ironworks has this double rod I like.  Although it is very nice and I love the style, it’s way out of my budget.  World Market has a rod that I like and its only like $60.  I have a $10 off of $30 purchase, so it would only cost $50!

Now that I’m back to square one with installing curtains for the patio doors, I’m rethinking the color of the rod – maybe black metal, but I can’t change the curtains because I got rid of the package!  Something else I learned is to keep all packaging until I know if everything will work as expected.

I’ll post updates as I progress.  I would like to have the curtains up in the next few days.

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