Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Get Organized

At the end of last week I did a time audit. For 2 days (kind of 3) I tracked my time, how much time did I waste throughout my day, how much time was I actually productive? I did this after reading "Start" by Jon Acuff. Doing this time audit helped me find more time in my day to do things I really wanted, or spend time bettering myself. One thing that really stood out to me when I started tracking my time was my sometimes LACK of organization. So Sunday rolled around and I attacked this problem head on! I helped my mother-in-law organize the sewing room, sorted fabric and projects. I then moved to my dresser, and started on my drawers. 
This is my top drawer after about 15 minutes of re-organization. I fit way more in!! I didn't stop there! I had made beer cheese for a bridal shower and ended up coming home with the left overs, so I moved it into smaller containers, so we didn't have to hear up a big bowl ever time we wanted some. 
We also made our own salsa and shredded chicken for tacos. Since I've been doing really well on my fitness/weight loss challenge I've been trying to get better about what I put in my body. Chips with salsa are one of my weaknesses, SO rather than hit up Moe's or Chipotle, I made my own salsa, using fresh ingredient (some out of our own garden).  This morning I was up 2 hours earlier than I needed to be so I could make my ice tea and smoothie for lunch (saving money and helping reach my goal). I had time to cuddle with my Tyson puppy and I had time to enjoy eggs with pesto (Yum).  I saved so much time by planning ahead and organizing that I'm able to write about it this morning!!  So my favorite organizing solutions this week... Mason Jars and Thirty-One Large Utility Totes! Mason jars are great for good storage! Large Utility Totes were great in the sewing room. We used 4! 2 for mom's current projects and unfinished projects, 1 for my fabric collection and 1 for my patterns/books.  While I know that being organized doesn't last forever for me and it's not an easy task to take on, it does help motivate me to do better!! 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Smoothies of the day

I wanted to share my progress for those who have been following my ab tastic, get fit ride better posts! Today I weighed in at 146, the lightest I've been since probably December if not earlier. I've dropped an inch off my waist and an inch off my lower belly area in the last 9 day! Thanks to Heather Foltz, her awesome work outs and my eating better I'm on my way to my goals!

Today's smoothies:

Handful of spinach
1/2 an apple
1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1/2 cup frozen mango 
1 tsp almond powder
cinnamon to taste

1/2 apple
3/4 cup frozen mango
1 cup almond milk
1 tsp almond powder
Cinnamon to taste

Pictures below is breakfast, green might not be the prettiest color but it's tasty!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Silly Sunday

So this morning I woke up, checked Facebook, fed the dogs and headed out for a brisk walk with my favorite pup, Astra (sshh... Don't tell Tiny and Tyson). After 2 miles and almost 200 calories burned we came home, where I finished yesterday's ab tastic challenge and took a silly photo for my silly Sunday challenge. 

I'm like the crazy cat lady but way more awesome because my dogs have cool party tricks, and actually listen. 

Anyways... Focus Pam! So I thought if share my yummy post workout smoothie recipe because it tasted awesome! 
3/4 cup vanilla almond milk
4 TBSP nonfat vanilla yogurt (Greek is good too)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp almond powder 
1 1/2 tsp chai seeds
1/4 cup frozen strawberries
1/4 cup frozen raspberries
Handful fresh blue berries

Sometimes I add a banana and blackberries.  It fills me up and helps me kick craving for pancakes until lunch :) 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Challenge Accepted!

Today, I was challenged by a very dear friend to sell 7 Thirty One Totes in the next 7 days.  I graciously accepted.  I don't know if I'll actually be able to sell 7 totes in the next 7 days, but I shall certainly try!

Allison's challenge got me thinking… What other challenges do we put in front of ourselves each and every day?  Do we do it on purpose to help our selves grow or to change?  Does life do it for you, throwing hurdles at you that you aren't sure you can make it over?

This week I'm challenging myself to eat better and work harder.  This morning I jogged/walked 2.84 miles with my furry baby Tyson with me… Tyson loves the first mile, so do I, but by mile 2 he's always wondering what he did to deserve this.  I'm challenging him to run it all with me, which means I have to as well.  I'm also challenging myself to eat better and work harder at my squat/build a boot challenge, and plank challenge.  In other words I'm challenging my self to continue to get fit!  In addition to working out, I have to be aware of what I'm putting in my body.  The case of Vanilla Pepsi that I just bought, while delicious, was not the best of choices for me.  But the DELICIOUS strawberry-almond salad I had for lunch yesterday was.  I love it with balsamic vinegar!  I've also been doing pumpkin smoothies, sometimes with cranberries.  They really fill me up in the mornings and help fuel me through lunch.

I take a lot of inspiration from my a friend of mine, Heather Foltz.  She's a coach from Beach Body, and she is AMAZING!  If you ever think that you can't get healthy or fit, she is the girl to talk to!  She posts great meal ideas, work out ideas and motivational pictures!  Seriously my fitness hero!

I know I say this all the time, BUT here I go again, being fit is a lifestyle choice, but it's not just for me. I love the way I feel, look, and the health benefits… blah blah blah… Let's get real here… it's me. I do it for my horses.  Get fit ride better!  While I preach that, working out like I am trying to do is not the only way to get fit.  Last year, Denny Emerson (the Gold Medal Olympic Eventer who also finished Tevis) my horse idol, stays fit by constantly working.  Clearing brush, riding, walking courses, setting up courses, cleaning the barn etc.  Burning calories/building muscles is the key.

So, this week, my goals are:
Squat/build a booty challenge EVERY DAY
Plank/Ab challenge EVERYDAY
Jog/walk Wednesday & Saturday
Eat at least 1 salad a day
Drink 8 glasses of water
Sell 7 totes

I challenge you to join me getting healthier, one week at a time!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Random Thoughts

So there have been several things this week that I wanted to post about, so I'm just going to go for it.

First, I wanted to talk about California Chrome.  WOW!  What an amazing animal!  I was really hoping for a Triple Crown winner, but even though he only placed fourth, I'm still SUPER proud to be a Chromie.  And to share the same home state as him!  To get injured coming out of the gate and still running a race like that, he deserves nothing but all the best praise we can offer him!

Next I want to talk about family, both the family that is blood and the family that you choose.  Or maybe chose you.  Today I reconnected with Grandad.  Grandad is part of my chosen family.  His family took me in when I was going through a rough time in high school.  His daughter, Lisa, is still one of the most amazing people in my life, and one that I am very thankful for.  Sometimes I forget how great of an impact they had on me, but waking up to a message from Grandad on Facebook instantly put me in a GREAT mood.  I spent about 20 minutes writing him an email to catch up, remembering different occasions where I hung out with him, and different qualities that make him, well, Grandad!

My last topic of this post is more about physical aspects of life.  I've recently went back to eating healthier and working out.  I am by no means an expert, I don't really even know enough to be dangerous.  Or maybe I do.  Really the point I want to get across is how much fun and how delicious eating better and getting fit can be.  I don't want anyone to feel like I'm picking on the bigger people, because there are so many things that can put you there.  Genetics, bad habits, eating disorders, depression, medical conditions, and many others.  So what I'm saying is, don't eat a certain way or work out to loose weight, do it because you want to feel better.  Yes, in the last couple weeks I have lost a few pounds, and while I'm happy about that, the part that I really like is how my body feels.  I've cut out most cane sugar, I switched my coffee with tons of sugar and cream for hot green tea (or ice tea when its hot).  I limit my pizza and french fire intake (these are my 2 weakness, I LOVE ME SOME FRENCH FRIES, and don't get my started on my favorite pizza place here in NY).  I feel better after lunch when I eat my grilled chicken in a salad with crasins and almonds with a balsamic vinegar dressing with a side of chopped strawberries and watermelon.  I've tried to cut out most processed foods, and go with fresh things, my only weakness there is granola bars, I like the slightly crunch Special K bars.  And I've started walking/jogging with the dogs.  Astra loves going out with just the 2 of us and doing a 2 mile loop.  She loves feeling like she's the only dog (in her perfect world, she would be).  Tiny loves going out and looking at all the chipmunks (trying to chase them, but listens when mom says no).  And in the back of my mind, I know my horses will thank me for it when they get home too.  I've said for a while now, "Get Fit, Ride Better!"  And I know it's true, every athlete does certain exercises to make them perform better, for equestrians, staying fit, and having muscle control will help them in the saddle, just like every other athlete out there.  So my point really is, don't just sit there, no matter what size, do something that will make you feel better.  Maybe it's walking around the block once.  Maybe it's switching your bowl of ice cream for a bowl of fruit every few days.  Maybe it's adding a salad to your dinner.  Whatever it is, let's get healthier!

Stepping off my soapbox now, have a wonderful day!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Just Another Ordinary Day

So the past few days haven't been extraordinary, not a whole lot to tell the world… In theory…. But today, I wanted to remind myself to take time to appreciate the little things.  A nice conversation with my husband, the joy of helping Aspen, planning the steps to get where I want.

THen I realized that while it might seem like an ordinary day with nothing exciting…. I'm quite wrong. There's a lot to celebrate EVERY DAY!

  • I'm still breathing… There's something we should all celebrate!  
  • I have an AMAZING FAMILY!  
  • I have a job, and while sometimes it drives me crazy, it's more than a lot of people have.  
  • I have the most beautiful dogs in the world (yes, I'm biased, it's my blog, deal with it).  
  • My horses ROCK!  I can't wait to get them home!
  • Huge shout out to Laura Fay, she's really made me feel welcome at her barn, and continues to push me to be better.  Give Chase and Kody kisses for me until my next visit! 
  • My husband is the most perfect man on the planet, for me!  
  • I have the best friend/aunt in the world, she supports me and helps motivate me and is ALWAYS there for me!  
  • I could say the exact same thing for my Grandma, and add that even when she thinks my decisions are crazy and almost throws chairs at recruiters, she still loves me.  
  • My mom, her and I have been through a lot, good and bad, but at the end of the day we're still here for each other.  
  • My foster family, the Kjeldgaards… So much to say about this WONDERFUL family.  They've raised 8 amazing kids, all polite, well behaved, athletic, generous, CHRISTIAN, smart, caring… The list could (and should) take up this whole page, but in the interest in saving space, I'll cut it off there, and say Lisa and Eric, your awesome, and I love you!  Thank you for helping me through a very difficult time in my life!  To the 8 KJ littles… or not so little (Nick, Kate, Steve, CAN YOU SLOW DOWN, I feel old), you are all amazing in your own right, keep being amazing (no pressure or anything)!  
  • To Aspen, you've inspired me.  Your love and dedication is truly beautiful, and you've got a BEAUTIFUL heart & soul… And while you're beautiful on the outside too, it's the internal beauty that really makes you shine!
Now, I could go on and on about all the things I'm grateful for everyday, and there are times that I will. But today, I just wanted to take the time to remind myself (and anyone who happens to read this) that even our so called ordinary days really are EXTRAORDINARY!  

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Aspen & Happy Appy

Another day into my Happy Appy campaign and I wanted to take some time to introduce Aspen again. This is the first post of my new blog, so please stick with me.  

Happy Appy is a 5 year old Appaloosa, belonging to 11 year old Aspen.  Aspen saw this horse on a website at a ranch where her parents frequently buy horses from.  She played hooky from school to ride with her parents to the ranch to buy a new horse.  Upon arrival, Aspen asked where the Appy was.  She disappeared into Happy Appy's stall for the rest of the trip.  Aspen had fell in love at first sight.  When it was time to leave, her mom came and found a red-eyed Aspen, who was far from ready to leave.  Dad was sent in next, the tears were flowing down Aspen's cheeks at the thought of leaving "her" Appy.  Dad couldn't stand to see his little girl cry, he told Aspen to load the mare into the trailer, she could bring her home.  We have to pause here… Aspen knows how to work her dad, and had probably planned this all along, BUT this was the start of a strong bond between little girl and her horse.  Happy Appy was a halter horse and hadn't spent much time under saddle.  11 year old Aspen was in charge of finishing her training, and that is exactly what she did.  She finished her training and started competing with her in barrel racing.  Aspen and Happy Appy beat her (Aspen's) times on her 2 finished barrel horses.  The week of May 5th, Happy Appy colicked…BADLY. The vet came out with meds and IVs.  when this didn't work, Happy Appy went in to the vet hospital for surgery.  They removed an enterolith (pretty much like a rock).  There was a ball of some sort of string as well.  According to the vet, it could have been something she ate YEARS ago.  Happy Appy was given 60% chance to live.  Appy handled anesthesia well, was up and moving the next morning.  She was alert.  Later that day the complications set in.  Ultra sound showed her gut was dying where the mass had been lodged.  She had to be put down, while Aspen was competing at JR World at the Josey Ranch.  Aspen's heart has been broken by the loss of her best friend.  worse yet, while this young girl is grieving, and needing her family, everyone is still working to pay off Happy Appy's surgery. 

I met Aspen's grandmother, Lynn, through a wonderful FaceBook group called Hags with Nags.  On this page, everyone is very supportive of things that everyone is going through.  Lynn was looking for support and prayers for her family when she posted on Hags with Nags.  I wanted to do more!  Last night I made my first donation to Aspen's family.  It wasn't much, but that's not the point.  I want to help, and so I've started the Happy Appy Campaign  Everything that sells from Untamed Tack for the time being will go to helping Aspen.  All profits are going to them! 

Messaging with Lynn last night, we came to the conclusion, that we wished there was a group that would do this for every little heart broken cowgirl out there!  Now, I'm not there yet (and I don't know if I'll ever really be there), but I'm starting with Aspen.  If you want to help, you can place an order or donate directly to the family!