Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thankful ♥

I love Thanksgiving. Gathering around family and loved ones; sharing laughs, playing games, swapping recipes and indulging in yummy food. Oh how I love it!! But more than any of those things I love having a day where everyone is reflective of those things that they are blessed with. There is an overall optimism that I just LOVE LOVE LOVE!! So in the spirit of Thanksgiving, here are a few things on MY thankful list... what's on yours?

♥ My Man. I have an amazing husband who is my white knight and my best friend.
♥ My Sprouts. I have 4 fabulous kids who are full of energy, brain power, imagination and fun. I love them to pieces.
♥ My Fam. I have such an awesome family. My parents are my heroes. My in-laws love me as their own. ALL my siblings are simply amazing individuals.
♥ My Faith. It gets me through the hard times, lifts me even higher during the good times and warms my heart.
♥ My talents. Some days I feel they are few and far between but if I'm honest I have a lot to offer this world and I'm grateful for that!
♥ My Bod. I have always been lucky to be naturally smaller and working off baby weight has always taken little to no effort. But regardless of that fact I love that I am able to run far and fast. That I can dance. That I can play with my kids. I try to take care of my body and it, in turn, takes care of me!

I am grateful for SO many other things. Shelter, sustenance, friends, security... We live a wonderful happy life. LUCKY ME!

Friday, November 20, 2009


This time of year there are some amazing fruits available. One that I eagerly await is the POMEGRANATE {it's available from Sep-Jan}!! Oh my oh my OH MY how we love this fruit; two of my kids have asked Santa to put one in their stocking this year! I remember 9 years ago sitting with my husband of 6 months at our dinner table {a card table} eating a pomegranate. We talked about how awesome they are and how one day they were going to be BIG. They would be added to foods and drinks... oh yeah, we called it! You can find pomegranate in everything from soda to soap {yes, I have both of those things in my house... Pomegranate 7Up is positively sinful!} The pomegranate is an amazing little fruit. They are native to Persia and is one of the oldest fruits known to man! Cool huh?! It's tart but sweet. Jewish tradition says that there are 613 seeds representing the 613 commandments in the Torah. Some believe that it is the fruit from the Tree of Life. Also {due to it's large quantity of arils - seeds} practically everywhere associates the pomegranate with fertility. It is a BEAUTIFUL fruit too!
Pomegranates are used more widely in other parts of the world. It's been used for centuries for medicinal purposes. But it has a lot of health benefits. The best website is Some health facts listed there are:

*Pomegranates contain polyphenols, a natural powerful and effective antioxidant. Antioxidants help protect your body against "free radicals", which contribute to chronic conditions like heart disease and cancer.

*They have A TON of Vitamin C - perfect considering the nasty weather and the sniffles that come with it.

*They also have a lot of Vitamin K which is necessary for healthy blood coagulation.

I got this NIFTY handout at the grocery store when I bought a couple pomegrantes the other day. THIS is DEFINITELY the way to get into these beauties! In case you can't read it:
1. With a sharp paring knife, cut off the top about 1/2 inch below the crown.
2. Once the top is off, you'll see four to six sections. With your knofe point, scoer the skin at each section.
3. Separate the pomegranate at each score, so that you have individual sections {I recommend doing this over a bowl}
4. Over a bowl of water, use your fingers to loosen the arils and drop them into the bowl. The arils will sink to the bottom.
5. Use a spoon to scoop out the pices of shite membrane that have floated to the top.
6. Pour the remaining liquid through a strainer. Place the arils in your favorite dish and ENJOY!

Enjoy them while they're around! Throw a few arils in with your salad or smoothy. Top oatmeal, yogurt or cereal. OR, you can just eat them by the spoonful {or handful if you're not that fancy!}. They are DELISH!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Holiday Struggles

"THE" holidays are nearly upon us! One of the most difficult times of the year for SO MANY of us, myself included. So I thought I would do a little introspective searching and admit to some of my biggest struggles. All in hopes that I will be able to avoid making some grave mistakes this holiday season!

* The TREATS! The plates and plates of goodies brought by well meaning and dearly loved friends. I am a sucker for home baked goodies and they more than bounteous this time of year! My favorites? EASY! Pumpkin roll, carmel, carmel apples, dipped pretzels, toffee, huckleberry, pecan & pumpkin pies, cookies, fudge... okay, you get the point. SEE? I am in serious trouble!

* The COLD! I have THEE hardest time dragging my butt outside to run when it's cold! But even worse, I HATE running on the treadmill {though it's better now with books on tape}. So my exercise drops off dramatically for November-February or March! Not this year though... right?!

*The FOOD! Totally different category in my opinion. I do try not to over eat at Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner. But how can you NOT when it starts before the meal even starts? Veggie trays, cheese ball, salsa, dips, mazzetta's peppers and more? Then there's turkey & homemade stuffing, cranberry sauce, salads, rolls, potatoes, beans and more!! Top it all off with a variety of homemade pies... I'm a lost cause. I'm sure to eat twice my body weight!!!!

*TAMALES! This technically could fall under the "food" category but it probably deserves one of its very own. We love tamales. We make A LOT of tamales. It's a tradition that we started nearly 10 years ago and it is one of my favorite things about this time of year. The problem is even after sharing with friends and neighbors, there's always a lot left over {intentionally}... and you guessed it, I eat my fair share of those "left over". Oh but they are SO GOOD!

Sigh. That about sums it up. Though I'm sure that I'll think of more things as they surface! What about you? What's your Achilles Heel?

Monday, November 16, 2009

My First AWARD!

So Tiffany {over at Skinny Jeans} has bestowed upon me my very fist blogging award! WOAH! Didn't see THAT coming! How COOL is that?! Thank you Tiffany; I am elated!! Check it out:So as part of the "deal" of getting this prestigious award I have a few things to take care of:

-Each Superior Scribbler must in turn pass the award on to five most deserving blogger.

-Each Superior Scribbler must link to the author and the name of the blog from whom s/he has received the award.

-Each Superior Scribbler must display the award on his/her blog, and link to The Scholastic Scribe, which explains the award.

-Each blogger who wins The Superior Scribbler Award must visit this post and add his/her name to the Mr Linky List. That way, they'll be able to keep up-to-date on everyone who receives this prestigious honour.

-Each Superior Scribbler must post these rules on his/her blog.

So. . . the only left to do is name MY 5 choices. . . and they are {drum roll please} . . .

1 Healthy Ashley - keeps me motivated to eat healthy and KEEP RUNNING
2 Apron Girls - a group of domestic goddesses who are uber talented
3 Summertime Designs - some of the cutest digi scrapbook stuff out there
4 Seriously So Blessed - sarcasm and hilarity abound
5 Get Off Your Butt and Bake - Martha Stewart, watch out!

Stressed Out?

I have to admit that my stress level since we moved is VERY LOW. It's been WON-DER-FUL! One of my biggest stressors has always been financial; BUT we've worked really hard and made some tough choices but they've paid off {thank you Dave Ramsey}. So aspects of that are no longer an issue, HOWEVER, now we've got the luxury/chore {depending on how I'm looking at it that day} of making some new very difficult decisions. I won't bore you with the details but they are pretty monumental decisions; that have a HUGE affect on my family, especially my four little sprouts.

I get HEADACHES. My neck muscles and shoulders get tense, which I think is what causes MORE headaches! I get an upset stomach when the stress gets really bad and I get SUPER CRANKY!! I get that pin-&-needles feeling in my stomach, hands and feet. I EAT, a lot! When I PHYSICALLY feel the stress, I know it's getting out of hand!

So I got looking into what effect stress can have on our health {whether emotional, physcial or mental}. Web MD had this insight:

*Stress can weaken your IMMUNE SYSTEM! I sure as heck don't like being sick so this could be reason enough!

*Stress had a HUGE impact on your heart! It can cause hight blood pressure, blood clots, abnormal heartbeat, coronary artery disease, heart attack and heart failure. YIKES!

* Stress leads to tense muscles {I know that one first hand}. It can lead to neck, shoulder and lower back pain. AND it will make rhumatoid arthritis worse!

*Stress can make the symptoms worse for all kinds of stomach problems like Gastroesophogeal Reflux Disease and the like.

*Stress effects your reproductive health!! It has been linked to low fertility, erection problems, pregnancy issues and can make mestrual periods more painful.

*Stress can make asthmatic symptoms worse

*Stress even effects your SKIN! Acne and Psoriasis can be worse due to stress.

WOAH! On top of all of those physical effects, stress gets to us emotionally too right?! Things like: *irritablility or crankiness *jumpiness {is that a word} *restlessnes *lethargy or tiredness *difficulty focusing *unable to deal with small problems *get upset over "little" things.

There is much more to stress that this too. There are different KIND of stress {I'll go into all THAT another time}. But I wanted to end with a few stress coping strategies that I USE.

*Talk about it. I am a firm believer that bottling it up will do NO good for anybody! So confide in someone you trust.
*EXERCISE!!! I couldn't possibly leave this off the list. It's far too important and it works GREAT! Get off your butt and do SOMETHING. It will help! I PROMISE!
*Breathe. Yep. Deep slow breaths will work wonders. Find someplace quiet and just breathe; you'll feel like a million bucks!
*Don't sweat the small stuff. If you're freaking out about the little things you'll really flip when something big comes along!

What works for YOU?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Thank you to all our military veterans. I absolutely LOVE this song by Toby Keith:

And a quote that I LOVE LOVE LOVE:
"A Veteran - whether active duty, retired, national guard or reserve, - is someone who, at one point in his life, wrote a blank check made payable to 'The United States of America', for an amount of 'up to and including my life.' That is honor, and there are way too many people in this country who no longer understand it." ~Unknown

Thank you Veterans, from the bottom of my heart

Monday, November 9, 2009

Hot Bod

Okay. So since the move I haven't gone to Turbo Jam {SHOCK, I KNOW}. So I have been in need of something to replace it. I miss my friends from Turbo and don't think any DVD will EVER replace that BUT...

My newest "thing" is Jillian Michaels. I don't have tv so I haven't seen The Biggest Loser in AGES! But way back in the day when I DID see that AWESOME show I was totally hooked. So, at the reference of a friend {thanks Kim}, I picked up one of her DVD's and gave it a go. WOW did I lose some strength in JUST a little over a month of not doing turbo!! But it's cool, Jillian will have me back up to snuff in short order.

I chose her No More Trouble Zones DVD. I am at my goal weight but NEED TONING something fierce. This will help me get there. I have had her Fitness Ultimatum wii game on my wish list and I've been tempted to read some of her books.

Check out this video from when her Metabolism book came out:

Here is the "ad" for her Ultimatum. Maybe Santa will stick it in my stocking this year?

I like to change things up; constantly getting in to new workouts and exercise. It helps me stay motivated and avoid boredom. So this winter I plan on keeping up my running {as much as I can stand running on the dreaded treadmill}, and alternating that with clogging, Jillian's DVD and the Wii Fit {I hope to get the Plus soon}. The overall goal is to stay active and continue to eat well {as in healthy, not quantity}.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Hot Eh?!

THIS is the HOT picture that I froze my butt off to get!! It was just over 40 degrees outside!! But oh man was it worth it!!!All my hard work has paid off; I feel good and I look good {at least I think I do, and my husband agrees}! I will HAVE to continue to make healthy choices though so it all doesn't go to waste {or waist, whichever you prefer, hehehe}!!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


There are those who have already seen this video of Dick & Rick Hoyt. Every now and then I have to come back and watch this; it makes me cry every time! What a story of love and determination. I am so impressed by this father. I am so happy for this son. I hope you enjoy this as much as I do!

I also just found a book written about them. I will be looking for this as I'm sure it's amazing!

Monday, November 2, 2009

World Run Day

I love this!! Go HERE and sign up NOW for World Run Day! You download your bib. You pick how far you run. You pick where you run. You can run for charity. You get a t-shirt. It's AWESOME!! You better hurry though; it's THIS SUNDAY!!

Nike Trainer

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