Friday Five #1 {Random Thoughts}

Happy Friday! Thank goodness! For a holiday week I sure am exhausted and ready for the weekend to be here. I need to go into work Monday morning for a few hours otherwise I have a four-day weekend starting at noon today!  ::cue happy songs::

For your reason enjoyment, here are five totally random things.

1 – After a little more than a year since our last membership, Alex and I are rejoining the gym today.  Who can beat $1 down and $10 a month? Not me! Thank you, Planet Fitness!

2 – I am rereading It Starts With Food by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig. If you haven’t heard of the Whole30 or read this book I highly recommend it.

3 – I feel like I have more goals to add to the ones I already made. Not big goals. No, these are much smaller goals. Kind of like daily reminders. Right now it is a short list of two or three. If the list gets longer than that, then I might post it here in the coming days.

4 – I used to get my nails done, with acrylic, every 10-14 days, but I haven’t had my nails done like that many years. I am not very skilled at painting my own nails, but I love having the option to change the color whenever a mood strikes. My collection of nail polish has grown to a vast array of colors, none of which are pink.

5 – Over the summer I took a new position at work and since then I have turned into an old lady, or maybe just a grown up. I have to be at work between 6am and 7:30am depending on what’s going on that day. This means I am in bed by 10pm, if not earlier, every night. I went from a regular night owl to an early bird and I have yet to catch the worm!

Hope you have a great Friday, friends! And tell me something RANDOM!

Small Goals in Action and 8 Minute Arms

A few things happened today that relate to yesterday’s post and small goals.

First, I was preparing my usual breakfast of cereal with skim milk. I flipped the box to check the nutritional label. I said I needed to cut back on sugar and perhaps my Cinnamon Toast Crunch is a good place to start. 10 grams of sugar before my day even gets started! Yikes! A new breakfast plan will surface soon.

That got me thinking about how much added sugar I consume every day. Not good, Sabrina, not good. While I know I can’t eliminate sugar, I should be more conscious of what I am putting in my body. It will be a process, for sure.

Later, I was sitting inside enjoying my day off when the skies turned dark and the rain began to fall with a vengeance. At this point I had my heart set on a nap, but my mind was telling me otherwise. I took to the internet and began creating a few circuit workouts that would be easy to do at home with just a set of hand weights.

Circuit workouts are fairly easy to create as long as you have a basic knowledge of a few exercises and the area (or areas) you want to focus on. With my limited knowledge I got busy trying to create a simple arm workout. Besides my stomach and the state of roundness that it is currently in, I mostly dislike my arms. They’ve always been a weakness and never really had much definition. I’d like to change that.

This workout was a great base for me to start with. It took less than 10 minutes to complete and the 3 pound hand weights I already had created a perfect challenge.

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An hour later and I can feel a slight tingle in my muscles. That’s a good thing, right? I’ll probably move up to 5 pound weights in the next week or so.

I took some measurements today. It’s been a while since I’ve taken any measurements, other than weight, and I’d really like to see my progress from now until vacation on October 18th.

I make small goals every week with the thought that I can do anything for a week. This week, tonight even, I’ll action a plan to be successful in my goals from here on out.

Where Did My Sweet Tooth Go?

Let me be real honest here. I’ve had a sweet tooth for as long as I can remember. There’s no dessert I don’t like as long as the main ingredient is sugar.

In fact, I often give Alex looks of disbelief when he says that something was TOO sweet. Really, how could something be too sweet? It just isn’t possible. Or is it?

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Like most days we had a few errands to run yesterday. Shortly after leaving the house I declared that I wanted a cupcake. Before heading home we stopped at a small local shop to pick up a few to share.

After dinner I picked out the cupcake I would enjoy as dessert. It didn’t take long, but a few bites in I put down my fork in disbelief. The cupcake was too sweet! TOO SWEET! My taste buds must be playing tricks on me.

I threw the cupcake into the trash but it was never that far from my mind. A few times throughout the night I thought about going back and picking out a different cupcake to eat, but something always stopped me. This got me thinking.

Other than a small Pumpkin milkshake a few nights ago, I really haven’t indulged in dessert.
There has been a container of pumpkin ice cream in my freezer for two weeks now. It is still UNOPENED! Ice cream used to be a nightly treat for me, but I couldn’t tell you when that changed.  To be honest, I don’t have the slightest desire to open that container of pumpkin ice cream. (or any ice cream)

A single bite from a chocolate bar, a few M&M’s, and less sugar in my daily coffee are the new norm for me. I am realizing that even my grocery shopping habits have changed. No more chocolate milk or sugar filled cereals. I often skip the treats all together. Applesauce is now the “no sugar added” variety. I am sure there are many more examples if I wanted to keep going.

Good golly! Where did my sweet tooth go? I don’t know when it started or what caused the change but it happened, and my sweet tooth is virtually non-existent. It happened so seamlessly that I never even noticed until today.

Life just kept going even as my sweet tooth was diminishing. Right now I am still processing these realizations. I want to be sad, but I suppose it’s a good thing. I never needed all that sugar anyways.

Week Two — Whole 30

Week Two was hard! It even got a little Emotional. I will address this in an upcoming post, but today I have a few bullet points to sum up the past week.

- I had iced coffee with cream twice during this past week. One was a tall, and one was a Grande.

- I love lean ground turkey. There are so many different options.

- Mrs. Dash salt-free seasoning is the best! A little goes a long way to enhance any meal.

- I miss drinking my nightly glass of skim milk.

- I am eating way more fruit than I am veggies.

- I am not drinking enough water. I don’t feel thirsty so it’s not an automatic habit for me to drink water. This needs to change.

- I still feel like I am sleeping better than I have in a while.

- I am trying to re-kindle my love for hot tea.

- I haven’t had ice cream in two weeks! HUGE accomplishment.

- I haven’t had a sweet pumpkin treat all month either. A huge accomplishment. Have you seen all the treats in the grocery stores? My heart weeps.

- BUT! I am searching to find good Paleo Pumpkin treat recipes. Link me if you have any to share!

- In hopes of doing some baking that is Whole30 friendly I bought coconut sugar, flour, and oil!

- Navigating restaurants can be tough, but it’s do-able.

- Today will be the biggest challenge yet. I am spending the whole day with Alex and his family. They eat out a lot and don’t keep many unprocessed options in their home.

- It’s all about planning and preparation. Not just today, but each and every day.

Weigh in results:

Monday, October 1st: 220.2
Monday, October 8th: 216.4
Monday, October 15th: 215.0

Fit to Fat Jeans

A few days removed from my last post, this post is about that emotional moment I mentioned.

Two months ago I “Talked About Clothes” – accepting my current size and finding clothes to fit and flatter my current figure. All while trying to work on achieving a new (healthier) figure.

Sunday morning I had the sudden urge to clean out and re-do my closet. I started with my dresser and went drawer by drawer making three piles: Keep, donate, and trash. My dresser was packed to the brim I had so much clothes. It certainly felt good to lighten the load.

I moved on to my closet which was full of jeans, skirts, dresses, and other miscellaneous work clothes. I reached into the back corner of my closet, you know the one where clothes you haven’t work in FOR.EVER end up, and pulled out some jeans. It’s been at least 3 years since those jeans had seen the light of day.

Amused by the size of these jeans, I laid a pair on top of my current jeans. I wasn’t amused anymore. I snapped a picture and sent it to Alex saying “What I used to wear on top of what I currently wear.”

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I went back to the project at hand, finished what I was doing, and then went about my day like normal. Never giving a second thought to those jeans.

Later that same night I was boxing up clothes to get donated, and putting the others in trash bags. That’s when it hit me. I sat on my bed, tears streaming down my face uncontrollably, and years of unhealthy choices glared from the piles of clothes. I felt like a failure and it was heart wrenching. Seeing my transition from Fit to Fat  in clothes was not appealing, but it was necessary.

I’ve written a lot of posts saying “this is the moment that I will change” or “this is the reason I will change”, and even “it starts now”. I am not going to say that anymore.

I’ve made a lot of significant changes that I should not discredit like the Tower of Terror 10 Miler  (hey, 7 miles is better than nothing!) and starting the Whole30 challenge.

The jeans don’t define me. They won’t define me.

I’ll leave y’all (and myself) with a quote from one of my favorite men.

“The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.” ~ Walt Disney

What are you going to begin doing today?

Cinnamon Pecan Scones

If you thinking about having some friends over for bunch but have no idea what to make or you are just looking for a simple and quick breakfast give these cinnamon pecan scones a try. They take less than 30 minutes from start to finish and go great with coffee or tea.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped
  • ¼ – ¾ cup sugar (depends on how much of a sweet tooth you have!)
  • ½ cup butter
  • ¼ – ½ cup half and half or buttermilk*
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp salt or sea salt

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. While it is preheating, toast your pecans for 5 minutes (stir them every couple of minutes). After the time is up, remove the pecans and set them aside in the freezer.
  2. Combine the remaining dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Using a pastry cutter, add in your butter. Continue cutting until your ingredients resemble cornmeal then stir in the pecans.
  4. Whisk your egg and add to the mixture; add in the vanilla extract as well – do NOT stir the mixture yet.
  5. Stirring as little as possible, add in just enough half-and-half (or buttermilk) so that the dough will stick together. It should crumble easily and there will still be flour in the bowl.
  6. Flour your cutting board and turn out your dough; lightly knead the dough until it is maleable and smooth.
  7. Divide your dough into two even halves then shape them into circles; pat them down until they are approximately one inch thick.
  8. Cut each circle into six pieces.
  9. Prepare a cookie sheet with non-stick spray, oil, or parchment paper then transfer the scones. Bake for 15-20 minutes.

Cinnamon pecan scone are best when served warm, enjoy!

*Don’t have buttermilk on hand? Make your own! It’s fast and easy to do. All you need is regular milk and some lemon juice or white vinegar. If you need half a cup of buttermilk, measure out a scant ½ cup milk and add in 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar. Let it sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes then use it as you would buttermilk!

Being a Spectator

After a mere 3 hours of sleep, my alarm went off shortly after midnight on Sunday morning. After stopping for gas and coffee Alex and I were on the highway by 1am.  We were on our way to spectate the Walt Disney World Marathon!

My first priority was to see my cousin who was there with Team In Training. My cousin is pretty much a beast and runs a 4:15 marathon while looking like it’s a stroll in the park. For this marathon she dropped back a few corrals to pace a teammate who has never finished under 5 hours and was shooting for a PR.

After we wished her and her team luck we headed to mile 4 at the Ticket and Transportation Center to scout a spot.

Race fireworks went off at 5:30am and it didn’t take long for the first runners to whiz on by. Those men and women who lead the pack were intense.

We saw my cousin about 40 minutes later, but we hung around to cheer on other friends and runners.

By 7:30am we were starving  and headed to the Contemporary hotel for breakfast! When at Disney you eat Mickey waffles the size of your head. With banana and caramel sauce, of course!

By 9am we were inside of EPCOT right around mile 26. The home stretch. We found a nice spot in the shade and cheered everyone on. There were smiles, tears, high fives and hugs all around. At one point I was brought to tears myself.

I finally saw my cousin coming around the corner, she was all smiles but I was a bottle of tears. I gave her a high-five as she ran on by, but I was just so moved by the atmosphere and the accomplishments of everyone around me. (Note: they finished in 4:58 getting the PR for her teammate!)

These people, family and friends, were marathoners! All shapes, sizes, and ages! Together for one common goal.

I’ve got to say, there is no race quiet like Disney. Just leading up to race weekend there was so much support, encouragement and love online. These runners look out for each other like nothing I’ve ever seen. And it’s apparent on race day too.

I am thankful for everyone who ran on Sunday and let me be their cheerleader. It was an  experience so humbling, motivational, and inspirational. It was like no other. They were (and still are) my heroes and heroines.

I don’t know if there is a running “career” in my future. Am I still a wannabe runner? Absolutely! Do I know if I will ever run a marathon? There is no telling. After being a spectator I know that I am going to give running my best shot. I will train, waddle, shuffle, and crawl if I have to. I want to know I gave it my all. I want to honor the body I have and be thankful I have the ability to run.

Something magical happened on Sunday that makes me want to accomplish something great, be the outstanding person I was created to be, and inspire others the way I have been inspired. I hope I never forget this feeling.

No reward shall come if I don’t take the first step and continue putting one foot in front of the other.

Small Goals in Action and 8 Minute Arms

A few things happened today that relate to yesterday’s post and small goals.

First, I was preparing my usual breakfast of cereal with skim milk. I flipped the box to check the nutritional label. I said I needed to cut back on sugar and perhaps my Cinnamon Toast Crunch is a good place to start. 10 grams of sugar before my day even gets started! Yikes! A new breakfast plan will surface soon.

That got me thinking about how much added sugar I consume every day. Not good, Sabrina, not good. While I know I can’t eliminate sugar, I should be more conscious of what I am putting in my body. It will be a process, for sure.

Later, I was sitting inside enjoying my day off when the skies turned dark and the rain began to fall with a vengeance. At this point I had my heart set on a nap, but my mind was telling me otherwise. I took to the internet and began creating a few circuit workouts that would be easy to do at home with just a set of hand weights.

Circuit workouts are fairly easy to create as long as you have a basic knowledge of a few exercises and the area (or areas) you want to focus on. With my limited knowledge I got busy trying to create a simple arm workout. Besides my stomach and the state of roundness that it is currently in, I mostly dislike my arms. They’ve always been a weakness and never really had much definition. I’d like to change that.

This workout was a great base for me to start with. It took less than 10 minutes to complete and the 3 pound hand weights I already had created a perfect challenge.

An hour later and I can feel a slight tingle in my muscles. That’s a good thing, right? I’ll probably move up to 5 pound weights in the next week or so.

I took some measurements today. It’s been a while since I’ve taken any measurements, other than weight, and I’d really like to see my progress from now until vacation on October 18th.

I make small goals every week with the thought that I can do anything for a week. This week, tonight even, I’ll action a plan to be successful in my goals from here on out.

DIY: Ticket Shadow Box

Several months ago, when my obsession with Pinterest first began, I found a Shadow Box to display ticket stubs. I thought this was a really neat idea, especially since I keep all my tickets and they end up in a dusty pile on my bookshelf.  The only pin I could find on Pinterest left no direction or link. It was just a photo. 

I pinned it anyways because I knew it would be an awesome way to display ticket stubs from movies or other events that Alex and I go to. Plus it will be a neat keepsake to look back on some day! 

During a recent outing to the local craft store I picked up the supplies I thought would be needed for this project. Yesterday was a rainy day in Florida because of Tropical Storm Beryl and it gave me the perfect opportunity to get crafty! 

One disclaimer though. I dove right into the project so I failed to take step by step photos. However, it’s fairly simple and I have a lot of confidence in your crafting abilities! :) 

Here is what you need: 

  • A shadow box (I got an 8×10) 
  • Construction paper or decorative craft paper 
  • Dremel with drill bit or small saw to cut slit in top 
  • Scissors
  • Glue (Double sided tape would work also) 
  • Sandpaper (optional)
  • And all your ticket stubs!

Here is what you do:

  • Unpacked my shadow box and took the cardboard backing off. 
  • Cut decorative craft paper down to size using the previously removed cardboard and scissors. 
  • Glue the craft paper onto the cardboard side that would be facing into my shadow box.
  • Prepare a work space to cut the slit in your box and mark off how big as a guide. My slit is about 5 inches long.
  • Use the dremel to drill a hole through the wood until it came out clean on the other side. 
  • Slowly moving across the top of the box I guided the dremel to create my slit. (This was a bit challenging)
  • At this point I used the sand paper just to smooth the wood on the inside where I created my slit. 
  • Put the shadow box back together with your cardboard backing. 
  • Insert tickets into box and let them fall as they may! 

 

Pumpkin Spice Cake Balls (Recipe)

From my kitchen to yours….

I adapted this recipe from one I saw on Peanut Butter Fingers last week. Julie made two ingredient Pumpkin Spice cookies, which had me drooling on my laptop. This morning I decided to whip up a batch but reinvent them to fit the ingredients I had on hand. Both recipes are quick and really easy to make. I spent maybe 30 minutes in the kitchen, including prep and clean up.

So without further ado I give you my Pumpkin Spice Cake Balls! (I call them cake balls because they were round, soft and delicious… like cake!)

Ingredients:
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1 box of Yellow cake mix (Vanilla would be good too) and 1 can of Pumpkin.

EASY! Since I didn’t have Spice cake mix, like Julie did, I decided to improvise and add my own mix of spices.

  • 1/2 tsp of cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp of nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp of allspice
  • 1/3 cup of applesauce
  • Mix it all up and spoon onto a greased baking sheet!

Bake at 350 for approximately 13 minutes. You want them to be firm and I wanted mine to have a little color around the edges. Let cool. Then I iced them with a little cream cheese frosting and sprinkled a bit of cinnamon on top!

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Eat and enjoy! But you didn’t need me to tell you that!