Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Lessons Learned on the 30 Day Challenge (Blogging)

  The 30 day blogging challenge is over.  Did you know I was participating?  Well I was and now am celebrating on this final day with the 30th post on the 30th day of November.

  It was harder then you think.  I don't always know what I'm going to write.  It's not always planned. Hmm, I'm not one to plan ahead.  Sometimes I was good others not so much but, I have learned alot from this journey.

What I learned from 30 days of blogging:

1. If you plan ahead things are easier.
2.  If your determined you will get the job done even if it's past your bedtime.
3. I am confident now how to not stress about what to post.
4.  I gained more exposure and interaction with daily posts.
5.  Posting variety gets people's attention!
6. This was special me time that I made happen.
7. I can learn from others along the way when I do engage.
8. You have to focus and have patience to finish something you started.  If it was important enough to start it's important enough to finish.
9. Speak from the heart or experience because people like real and deserve real.
10.  There's always something to post!

Each day there was a prompt to help you with ideas if you needed it.  Todays prompt was if a chose a word for the year and what it was.  I will finish this 30th post on this 4th day of November with my answer.

  At the beginning of 2016 I did choose several words.


  I can sit back and reflect on how I used all these words for myself making myself a better person and pursuing the current situation.  I can also smile as I have shared all of these in one way or the other with friends and acquaintances.  If I can why not you. I post a cannoli one day and I'm at the gym working out.  The struggle is real and I keep it real.

Thank you for keeping me company on this journey.

Have you ever completed a 30 day challenge on anything?
What did you learn from it?
Would you do it again?


Tuesday, November 29, 2016

A Day Out On the Bike

  A couple weeks ago it was supposed to hit 70°.  Prior to that a week or two before that was warm as well.   I thought that that was probably the last good day before the winter made its mark and decided to stay so it was time to take full advantage of it.

  I loaded up my bike to hit the VirginiaCapitalTrail.  This trail has been a focus for several months.  It's a nice solid even trail over 50 miles long.  This trail runs from Jamestown Settlement to downtown Richmond.

  I am an amateur cyclist.  I have ridden topping off at only 12 miles.  Mostly off road and strictly on a mountain bike.  A mountain bike weighs more, requires more effort to pedal and doesn't reach the speed of a road bike at least with any real ease.  Maybe these are all excuses but they are tidbits I have heard, and again I'm an amateur.

I started at mile marker 0. No pressure!  I can do this.  I am so excited.  I have my water bladder for hydration, my phone is locked onto the bike (extra battery packed too), helmet, sunglasses, cycling gloves, fruit and a protein bar!  I think I'm as prepared as I could be! 

Along the way each mile excited me more as I passed it and got closer to the end.  The trail was such a great surface.

I picked the perfect time of year and day.  The temperature was just right.  It wasn't too hot or cold.  I did run into some strong wind at the end but in the beginning I was completely comfortable.  Our fall comes later so I was able to catch the colors on this mid November ride.

The trail took me over bridges big and small.

The water views were the rewards.

I am not sure at what point of me taking pictures did I realize that it was taking time away from me finishing.  This was never a race.  It was my first time.  I had nothing to compare it to so there was no record to break.  

There was so much history to see on this stretch.  Plantations, the home of a past president and other history markers declaring momentous acts!

So many signs so little time to read.  I started the trail at 10:45 am.  I was planning to make it a 4 hour trip.  I exceeded it by an hour.  I stopped at two main trailheads to stretch and go to the bathroom.

It was always so reassuring to see how close I was getting.  The signs were in addition to the mile markers.  I never really felt alone and isolated either. There was always someone coming from the other direction, passing me or cars on the nearby road.  

I'm almost there.  When you have ridden 40 miles and you see that you are here.  It's truly amazing, such an accomplishment, such a feat!  

I will not lie and say I was not in pain.  The week working up to this day.  I had rode he 12 miles and another day 4 miles, I had ran a couple random days as well.  That was the extent of my training.  I do know that I have the endurance.  So not completing the trail wasn't an option.  My legs hurt particularly my thighs and around my knees.  My butt had been lost some where around mile 20 something.  It was so numb and I couldn't use one leg long enough to give either a rest or my butt.  

I pedaled on.  I hit a strong wind after that last trailhead and already exhausted that I couldn't even motivate myself anymore.  I had did multiple stretches at that stop but nothing was enough.   I had 12 miles left I had to keep going; there was no way I wasn't going to finish! 

I knew there were supposed to be more hills on this end so I was slightly prepared.  I laughed hysterically at them when they popped up.  I still pedaled on.
Then on one hill I saw the city.   The sun was starting to set.  It was so pretty and what a relief.  I had made it.  I was done. I had did it!  

My husband was parked shortly after marker number 50 so I didn't hit 52.1 which is the whole trail but that's ok.  Hek, had i known he was right there I would have snapped a picture of me and 50 but oh well I guess that will have to be next time!

What did I learn from this trip?  That I was as prepared as I was going to be.  That I could do it.  That alone time is nice.  That being alone is not scary.  That I am independent and can do things bigger then me.  That even when told I maybe shouldn't try it that I can try it and see what happens.  This was probably my biggest and definitely last accomplishment for he year but I'm so happy with it that that's fine by me.  

Next time of course I will beat my record because of the sheer fact I don't need  to take so many pictures.  

I also must add.  Although I was sore that night.  The next morning I was completely fine.  I woke up and waited for alarms to go off in my body and nothing did. I sat up and moved and all was actually just the way it was before!

I have already looked to see where else I can ride and I saw a 100 mile race.  I am not sure I'm ready for that just yet but I would like to continue riding my mountain bike and get a road bike and have the ability to ride either.

Have you completed a final item for the 2016?  Do you have a big goal for next year?


Monday, November 28, 2016

The Silent Wife (book review)

  I recently finished The Silent Wife and although it wasn't suggested by anyone I thought I would share a summary and review the book for anyone interested.

  The Silent Wife by A.S.A Harrison is a entertaining thriller.  It is a book you need to read to the end and you will want to read to the end.

  The book has two main charters Jodi and Todd.  Both are successful professionals.  Living together in a gorgeous home with waterfront views.  She keeps the house clean and has dinner ready for him every night.  He comes home and half recognizes and appreciates her.  She knows this in the back of her mind but accepts it without putting up too much of a fight.

  I will not ruin the book for you but urge you to check it out.  I will however provide you with teasers.  How do you feel when your husband goes fishing for the weekend?  What would you do if you found sleeping pills for a lady in your Husbands pocket?  Revenge can be entertaining.

  Jodi makes you shake your head as she see what she accepts and tolerates.  Todd makes you shake your head as he does what he want with a lot of uncertainty.  Sometimes I find myself daydreaming of the various situations and I read and I think cheers to you Jodi.  It's not always about rooting for the girl though.  The underdog gets their own set of cheerleaders too, right?

  There is an affair but by a small technicality maybe not really.  Someone gets pregnant, someone gets hurt  but I won't tell.

  What I am telling is that the movie started filming the beginning of this year and I'm going to be at the theater when it comes out!
  I'm already on my next book but what are you reading or do you have any suggestions?



Sunday, November 27, 2016

Autumn Lights (DIY)

  Let's bring some autumn hue inside.  It's easier than you think with a few items from your local dollar store you can whip these up and place several throughout the house by the end of the week.

  For this project you need:

   - a glass jar I picked one with a hinge
   - a bottle of Modge Podge
   - a package of leaves
   - a package of battery powered lights.

  For about $4 you get all this but, actually 2 lights and that whole package of leaves is a bonus to complete other projects or use as scatter decorations!

    Take your jar and paint the Modge Podge glue onto the leaves in whatever pattern you desire.  All for a day or two to dry and add another layer of glue and/or leaves.

  I used the variety of colors in my leaf bag to include red, orange and green.

Place your light inside.  Turn it on!

  I like these types of lights as they are best for small children and there will not be any fires.  An easy little switch on the bottom to shut it on and off.

I present you an autumn hue!  I glued a few leaves on the lid too but, you could skip that part if you like.

Go ahead and grab a couple bucks and make yourself a light.  


Saturday, November 26, 2016

A Date with Home Depot

  The first Saturday of every month Home Depot offers a kids workshop!  Once and a while there's a bonus.  This weekend was the bonus.  I'm going to walk you through how easy it is to take your kids to this freebie in your area!

  First off sign up online at your local store.  It's not necessary but it gives them a heads up on how many kits to order.   Next even if you sign up it doesn't guarantee you a kit; it is a first come first serve deal.  The workshop is 9am-12noon.  Of course if you get there earlier versus later your chances are good.

Behold the kit of the day.  Some kits vary in size, ease of assembly and some you get to paint (on site).

The tables usually have the necessary tools. This kit also required a screwdriver not shown.  

Instructions are pretty easy to follow.  I have messed up once and a while but for the most part it's not that bad.

The instructions include an inventory of the necessary items to cross check for assembly.

The kits come usually come with all the pieces to include nails at various sizes, decals and anything relevant to the project.

The instructions are so through that it tells you when to use large nails and small nails.

 Pre-made holes make it easy to insert the nail and maybe steady it before hammering.

Hammering is not easy but I have watched my daughter get much better at hammering.

She is able to hold the piece steady and hammer the nails now.

Bring on the back of the project!

Screwdrivers were needed.  My son loves to play with his tools at home so this was exciting to him.

Screwing a screw in is hard to do.  ousting the screw down and twisting it in required another hand.

The top of the project required a screw eye!

A little finger to secure to secure the last piece of hardware.

Finishing touches were easy and I could step back and relax now.

I present you a finished product not painted but my other child wants to paint theirs and then apply the stickers.

A picture frame! A nice handmade gift for someone for Christmas or a keepsake ornament for the tree.


Friday, November 25, 2016

Now showing Holiday shows

  I am not one to put the tree up before, on or even the day after Thanksgiving but, I will watch the shows as early as today!

1.Home Alone (maybe the whole series if the little people have a say)

2. How the Grinch Stole Christmas

3. A Charlie Brown Christmas 

4. Scrooged (I love the toaster scene)

5. A Christmas Story (Oh Fudge!)

6. A Miracle on 34th Street (My childhood dream was to look out a window and see the parade pass by)

7.  The Polar Express (another kids favorite)


8. Rudolph and Frosty (never get old)

9. Jingle All The Way (kids favorite but, I will watch this one willingly)

10. The Family Man (Nicolas Cage and I really like the story plot of life if you didn't exist)

  I might even listen to some holiday music between now and Dec 25th too!  What are your must watch shows for the holidays?


Thursday, November 24, 2016


  Today even though it's a holiday a break from work and school consists of busy! Today you work more in your house then any other day.  You clean, you cook, you eat and wash.  Your lucky if you get a nap in and avoid a belly ache.

  Thanksgiving usually starts early and depending on your company may keep you up late into the evening.  Regardless of the length of you day; I hope you gave thanks to at least a small part of it.

I am thankful for:

 1) My mother spending time with her grand kids.

2) Kids spending time with their grandmother.

3) Great food all edible and not burned.

4) Little ones helping with stuffing.

5) Big ones helping with potato peeling and dishes.

6) Watching Macy's Parade.

7) Pumpkin Pie.

8) No serious melt downs or chaos.

9)  Family movie of Home Alone and no kid movie of National Lapoons Christmas Vacation.

10)  A happy and content family at least for one day!


Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Thanksgiving Eve

  The night before the feast!  Another checklist comes out.  First checklist this week was groceries.  Now it's about the meal plan. 

What's being made, what time it's getting done, or when it needs to be done.  It's essential to get all the ingredients organized the night before when the stores are still open to grab something last minute.  Don't forget that main ingredient no matter what it is.  For us it's the turkey!

Turkey getting that bird in early for a late lunch! 

It really doesn't matter how big it is.  My family will eat it all.

Potatoes will accompany the meal!

Mashed potatoes please and lots of butter.

Acorn squash

It's what I grew up eating so it's what we will still be eating!

Cranberry sauce the jelly kind because I hear less grumbles from the kids.

I swear this is the best treat on the holidays.


Not a fan but others are so I aim to please.

Sweet potatoes for little ones that don't realize it's a vegetable!

Of course if you add some brown sugar and marshmallows doesn't that make it a dessert?

Rolls because one child only functions on bread.

Stuffing another childhood favorite.  Homemade and simple.

Lastly, Pumpkin Pie because it's necessary!

Pie done, the rest will get made tomorrow!  Have a Happy Thanksgiving to everyone celebrating.  Be safe, thankful and enjoy!