Tuesday, January 28, 2014

2014 5K series

Thanks to a friend, I have found out about a 2014 5K series.

The dates for the races are on the following weekends:

  1. March 22-23 
  2. April 26-27 
  3. May 24-25
  4. June 21-22
  5. July 19-20
  6. August 23-24
  7. September 20-21
  8. October 18-19
  9. November 22-23
  10. December 20-21
You can find all the information RIGHT HERE

Are you going to join ?


Friday, January 10, 2014

Starting Over – 100 Word Song

Every stinking time I leave a comment on a blog post the Google thing wants me to share my last post and it is downright depressing because the previous post is nothing more than a blah blah blah post about ranch dressing (no offense Kraft).

 It was past time to write something new, so here it is.

Tonight I found myself on this blog called My blog can beat up your blog. You know you would have clicked it too.

I do love a challenge and there was one staring at me.

My Blog Can Beat Up Your Blog

"You have 7 days from NOW, to write 100 words inspired by John Lennon’s Starting Over. Use the medias that are social to tell a friend or 100 about your post. With the new year upon us, let’s get more people to play 100 word song. Have fun."

Here is the song, and my 100 words will follow. Follow the link and join in if you dare. You only have 5 days now.

Starting over?

No thank you, John Lennon. I don't want to.

Things are perfect just the way they are.

If it's not broken, don't fix it, isn't that what they say?

He says that our love is special; hasn't it always been?

Ten years of growing with him at my side. 

Yes, time does fly by so quickly, but it also stands still.

That touch. That look. That smile.

Time stands still.

My wings are clipped. Nowhere to fly.

 Forgive me world.

I am preoccupied right now with his love.

Absorbed with being in love with him.

Not starting over.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Crowdtap - Hidden Valley® Ranch Fest

Blogger is giving me errors, so this will be quick. Why does this happen when I am on a deadline?


  Many weeks ago I received my Hidden Valley® Ranch Fest party pack through Crowdtap. My original party was scheduled for mid-November, but it had to be changed because the package had been delayed. It included a Hidden Valley Team Ranch T-shirt, that I thought was way too small for any of my guests. It was quite a surprise when I realized that it fit me. I'll even share a photo later to prove it. Me, a small? I'll take it !

The party pack was full of goodness. A bottle of Hidden Valley Ranch Original Dressing, which arrived just as we were running out in the house. SCORE !

 As Crowdtap would say, "It's time to tap that."

Look at all that yumminess.

There was a packet of Hidden Valley Original Salad Dressing and Seasoning Mix, a packet of Hidden Valley Original Ranch Dips Mix, packets of Hidden Valley Farmhouse Originals Italian with Herbs Dressing, and a party insert with activities, recipes, and a coupon. It also came with samples for my guests, inserts with coupons, and a surprise gift. The surprise gift were two very handy chip clips. The luckiest man in the world even commented on how sturdy they were, and he knows his chip clips.

 (shown here with my carrots)

As I already said, my first scheduled party was canceled and I was a little bummed about that. We were having a luncheon at work and the boss was letting me bring my ranch party there.

It was getting closer to the deadline for this gathering and I just couldn't get anybody to commit to coming. People sure are busy during Christmas time, and it made it a bit hard to get them together. There was food to be made and fun to be had, so I whipped up some snack ideas and invited my peeps to stop by for a taste.

First we had the traditional carrots and dip and chips and dip.


I didn't have a lot to offer for salads, so I displayed the items in a fun way. Yes, I play with my food. Three of my guests ate the "faces" and left the salad plain. I tossed mine all in the bowl and smothered it with added ranch dressing.


I tried two different ideas with potatoes. I sliced a few, coated with oil, and baked in the oven. They were topped with salsa, sour cream, and cheese, and of course dipped in ranch dip.

These were a big hit.

The guest inserts included some great recipes, so I gave those a try as well.

Original Ranch Roasted Potatoes
1/4 cup vegetable oil
    1 package Hidden Valley Original Ranch Salad Dressing & Seasoning Mix
     2 pounds small red potatoes quartered

Place the potatoes and oil in a ziploc bag. Shake. Add the salad dressing mix and shake again. Bake at 450 for 30-35 minutes.

I used russet potatoes and they came out delicious !


Here is the other recipe that looked too tempting to pass up.

Seasoned Popcorn
Sprinkle buttered popcorn with  Hidden Valley Original Ranch Salad Dressing & Seasoning Mix

Super easy and I can't believe that I have never tried it before. It is a new favorite of mine.

Everyone seemed to like the popcorn. I came back to take a photo and this is what I found.

You can find more recipes on their site.


Dear Crowdtap, The next time I have a party I promise to invite people who love the camera as much as I do. Spoil sports !!

I received my Hidden Valley® Ranch Fest party pack through Crowdtap. This review contains my honest opinions, which I was not compensated for in any way.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

It's my first time - Ketchup With Us

 Ketchup With Us
I am joining in this week  with Michele and Mel, who do a great job keeping me entertained. You should really check them out.
'KETCHUP WITH US' - Prompt 32 
 Please link up a holiday post, old or new. 
Piece of cake. But not fruitcake. 
Here is my flashback from around 1996. This is my youngest daughter. You have to excuse my singing, but her expressions make it worth it in my opinion.

I had no idea what she was doing.
 To understand a little more what "ketchup with us" is about you can go here.
Come 'Ketchup With Us' on the 1st and 15th of every month in 57 words or less. We look forward to seeing you there!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

I took it to the beach


I am in the middle of a new Mamavation two week challenge. You may remember me talking about mamavation in the past. I can't remember how many of these challenges I have done, but they have always given me a great boost. Click the link if you are interested. There is so much information about food, health, and fitness.

Tuesday is my day off from work and it was day two of the challenge. I watched the clock move through the day and yet I didn't move off of the couch. Morning came and went. The afternoon came and was going fast. It was very easy for me to think of reasons why I could not workout.

Finally, around 3pm, I dug in and decided that I was going to do it. Not only was I going to get this workout done, but I had a brainstorm to do it on the beach. It had been days since I had been out there.

 The luckiest man in the world was home sick with a cold, so I kissed his cheek and prepared to head out. My head was spinning as I tried to think of what I needed and the best way to take it with me. Perhaps I was procrastinating a little.

With my backpack filled, I was ready to go.

 As soon as I started the 1.5 mile walk to my favorite place, I was regretting my decision to do this. The backpack felt like it weighed 15 pounds, although I knew it could only be half of that. Each step brought me closer to my destination and just a little more excited to do this.

 Here is the view that I had when I arrived.

 I emptied my backpack on the wall and stalled  took inventory.
Immediately I realized that I had left the cheat sheet at home that I had so carefully prepared to take with me. How would I know what my workout was without it? A part of me was excited that I wouldn't be able to do my workout. Can't possibly do it if I don't know the moves right?
There it was, still at home, waiting to be picked up. 
 My phone does not work very well when I am out on the beach, especially when I am trespassing on Air Force land. (fist pump and much love to the Air Force and all military) I figured it couldn't hurt to try, so I crossed my fingers and tried to log into the mamavation site. 

 What a bummer nice suprise to see that it worked and I was able to download the workout. Now I was truly excited and rather proud of myself for getting it. I even took a screenshot of the page, in case I lost Internet.
The workout started with foot fires for 90 seconds.
My naked toes love the sand.
There is a wall that stands about 3.5 foot tall, and that is what I used for the pushups and triceps pushups.
I only brought my 3 pound weights with me (I'm not crazy). Because of this I actually did 2 variations of the shoulder presses and dumbell curls.


 By the end of the three sets I was feeling GREAT !! I took a few more pictures and then I took a little run. (and by little, I mean I set up the camera and ran a big circle)

The sun was setting fast, and I knew it would get colder and dark soon, so I gathered up my things and headed back. Instead of putting the weights in the backpack I carried them in my hands and it made for a very nice extra boost for the 1.5 mile walk back home.
 I am so glad that I did this workout on the beach, and proud of myself for not getting distracted by the scenery.
Farewell sun; see you next time.
* today I did the same workout at home, using my 6 pound weights, and it felt pretty darn good.


Monday, November 25, 2013

They sure look alike

I think that Karl Urban from Almost Human is
 David Hasselhoff's illegitimate child. 
Just saying.

Thanksgiving virtual 5K

  Hello again my friends. Today I found out about a virtual race that will be held on Thanksgiving. Doesn't that sound like a fun way to start your day?

The luckiest man in the world will be golfing on Thursday morning, so I think that would be a perfect time for me to either head out to the beach or get on the treadmill.

I won't be cooking this year, as we have decided to hit up Golden Corral and let them do all of the work. Thank you Golden Corral.
 Thanks to my friend Julie,  who shared the link from Deb, You will find all of the information that you need right here.
This is the first race in the Holiday virtual 5K series - Thanksgiving virtual 5K, a Christmas virtual 5K and a New Years virtual 5K to help all of us stay motivated during the Holiday season.

 You can run, walk, swim, crawl, elliptical, row, bike, or whatever you can do to reach 3.1 miles. I would not suggest the crawling method for that distance, but you can give it a try if you'd like.

There is no registration fee, but if you go to her blog
you can receive extra entries for the prizes.

Are you going to join in ?
 I will be wearing my Asics on that day. They were purchased in August and I have logged 688 miles with them on my feet. By Thanksgiving they will have more than 700 and it will be time for me to retire them and break out my new pair, which are the exact same pair. These darn things still look pretty good to me.


The Pep Boys mission from Smiley360

My  Smiley360 mission from PepBoys:

I can still remember when I was younger and we would drive past the Pep Boys building. The backseat joined in as we chanted "Manny, Moe & Jack". At that time I don't even think we knew what kind of business it was, we just knew those three names and we loved their faces on the logo.

A few months ago I was accepted to the Pep Boys mission at Smiley360. At first I was worried that there wasn't a service area close to home. We had stopped at a Pep Boys once to buy something and were not pleased to see that they were basically the bones of a store that we had both grown up knowing. After checking online, I was happy to find out that indeed, there was not only one, but two Pep Boys in the area where we could get an oil change.

We didn't even have to schedule an appointment !

The luckiest man in the world grabbed up my goodies as soon as they came in the mail. I barely had a chance to snap this photo. Men and their cars !

 Here is a list of what I received in my kit:

$30 Pep Boys gift card (to use towards a $19.99 conventional oil change)
Pep Boys Point B pen
Pep Boys Point B car air freshener
Pep Boys Point B jump drive
Postcard outlining some Pep Boys products & a Pep Boys Point B message
10% off Pep Boys service coupon link (excludes oil changes) to share with friends and family
$19.99 Pep Boys Conventional Oil Change coupon link to share with friends and family
Smiley360 Sharing Guide

On the day chosen for our oil change I had to work, so the luckiest man in the world scooped up what he needed and headed out for the oil change on our Honda CRV.

What a great deal ! An oil change for $19.99 and a gift card to cover the cost. He said that the whole process took about 15 minues to complete. The man that did the work was very professional and it we will definitely be going back for our next oil change.
From PepBoys twitter page : "When you come in for service we'll set an automatic reminder for your next service."
 When I have seen people in the past change their own oil it took longer than that for them to get the items required to do the job. Not only did we save money with this great offer, but nobody got their hands dirty in our home.

I received a free gift card from Smiley360 for a Pep Boys oil change in exchange for my honest review. I was in no way obligated to write a positive account of my Pep Boys experience, and my review is written entirely in my own words and from my own personal experience.

Here is my link if you'd like to join  http://smiley360.com/?refid=43079

Thank you Smiley360 and Pep Boys

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Truvia sweetener

I recently received some Truvia sweetener to review from Crowdtap. The mailing arrived the day before I left for vacation and I tucked them into my suitcase, knowing that I would have to rush to get this review in. For some reason, my little package of Truvia sweetener took a little detour to Puerto Rico before it made it safely to my house.
The Internet at my sister's house is shady and the house has been busy with company in and out. Good news, I did get to see the newest family member, but bad news I didn't get around to writing my review.
No calories and all natural; that sounded great to me. I made my way into the kitchen this morning, pulled out what I would need to fix a cup of coffee, and snapped a few pictures.

I took my sister her cup of coffee and she asked me what I put in it. I couldn't trick her with the switch. After the third time of asking me, I finally showed her the wrapper. She wouldn't finish the coffee, so I finished it instead.

I did notice a difference in the taste. I think it would take a few tries to get used to it. Knowing that it is gluten free certainly makes me want to give it a try in my home.

 I did talk with a few people and they had never tried Truvia. I know a few people liked my photo when I posted on Instagram and Twitter.

I was planning on doing an interview with my daughter for the next part, but we are having more Internet troubles at her house, so this will conclude my review.

Thank you Crowdtap for letting me try this product
{I was sent the Truvia to review from Crowdtap. No monies were offered or accepted. All above opinions are my own.}

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Her words took me there in an instant

I was reading a blog today and the woman had mentioned memories of when she was abused as a child.
She talks about "folding into a shell" and instantly I am there again, down on the shower floor, curled into a ball, screaming for the pain in my heart to be healed.

Many times I would use the shower to drown out my screams.
I would cry long after the water ran cold and my fingers ached from staying clenched with a mixture of anger and sadness combined.

I was not abused in the way that this woman was; but abused I was.

Emotionally - mentally - physically abused by a WEAK man.

He wounded my soul, but he didn't destroy it.

I carry maroon scars, deep inside.

Her words took me there in an instant and now I blink back tears of the memories.

It was a lifetime ago and still so real in my
mind when I let it return.

We never forget the pain.

Sunday, September 29, 2013


There is a bench near my home that I visit and think about a man that I have never met.

 I do not know for sure why I am drawn to that place, or why I want to stay there when I arrive.

 It is a place that should be filled with sadness, but it brings me peace that I can't explain.

 I think he sits with me when I am there, but I cannot see him.

 Perhaps he is happy that I have come to the place that he last visited.

 Maybe he likes the joy that I carry to this space.


 This bench.

This bench where he sat.

This bench where he sat, and pulled out a gun.

This bench where he sat, pulled out a gun, and ended his own life.