i believe

~i believe life doesn’t have to be perfect to be wonderful~i believe you should be somebody who makes everybody feel like somebody~i believe you should be true, be you, be kind~i believe you should do more with less~i believe fear is what stops you~i believe courage is what keeps you going~i believe your mind believes what you tell it~i believe you should tell it positive thoughts~i believe you should make your life a story worth telling~i believe you should tell your story~i believe some days it’s difficult to be strong~i believe you can be brave and show up~i believe there are 3 c’s in life~i believe you have a choice~i believe you should take a chance~i believe you can make a change~i believe you should make a list of things that make you happy~i believe you should make a list of things you do everyday~i believe you should compare the lists~i believe you should adjust your list accordingly~i believe life is an adventure~i believe you should go live it~i believe it’s nice to be important~i believe it’s more important to be nice~i believe you should bark less~i believe you should wag more~i believe you should throw kindness around like it’s confetti~i believe when faced with fear you have two choices~i believe you can forget everything and run or i believe you can face everything and rise~i believe you shouldn’t count the days~i believe you should make the days count~i believe you should live your life to the fullest~i believe you should laugh along the way~i believe you should share some love~i believe you should repeat it again the next day!~

SOL

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Whole 30: Love It or Loathe It?

There are less than 24 hours, less than 24 hours left on my Whole 30 journey! By the time this post is published I will be on Day #30.

the.last.day!

***throw confetti***

***do a happy dance***

Matt and I began our journey on July 11th right after we wrapped up our family vacation. You can read the previous posts here, here, and here. Basically though, Whole 30 is about eating whole real/natural foods.

Whole-30-Food-List

So, how has it been?

Truthfully it’s been an emotional roller coaster for me. Love, hate, tolerate is where I’ve been with this journey. But, I made a choice, I took a chance, and I definitely saw a change – a change for the positive no matter which way I look at it.

Whole 30, while it’s about food, I believe it’s about much more. It’s about self-control and a mindset, a growth mindset. It’s about planning and being prepared. It’s about setting expectations, making a commitment, and wrapping your mind around a challenge.

Yes, I missed cheese. Yes, I missed a glass of wine at dinner, and yes I missed ice cream. But, what I know for sure is that all of these foods will be consumed in limited quantities from this point forward. I am currently in the best shape of my life after completing Whole 30. While it wasn’t about weight loss for me, I did lose a significant amount of weight and so did Matt. I am truly amazed at how my body has changed. My sleep improved to a certain extent. It’s still not consistent, but it is improved. And, I do have more energy.

On the other hand, there were days that I didn’t want to eat another scrambled egg for breakfast. I didn’t want chia pudding as a snack. And, I certainly didn’t want to eat another daggone salad for lunch. I mean in the last thirty days we have had National Ice Cream Day and National Chocolate Chip Cookies Day…seriously!  I never even knew there was such a day and of course they had to fall during my Whole 30 journey. But, motivation is what got me to look the other way and stay committed to the goal I set out to reach. It became a habit, a healthy habit.

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I’ve been committed to my fitness journey for the last five years. I run half-marathons, marathons, and cross-train. These activities burn serious, serious calories, and I have reaped the benefits of my exercise routine. It has taken time. Time I’m willing to spend to stay healthy. But this, Whole 30, is a definite game-changer. By day number 22 I was feeling calm, confident, and strong. The Whole 30 gurus call it “Tiger Blood” and it is a great feeling!

You hear so much about calories in, calories out, but I truly don’t believe that’s where you get your bang for your buck.

It.Starts.With.Food!

Real food, folks. Real whole food. Not protein shakes, not cutting back your calories so that you’re starving. I didn’t count one single calorie on this journey. Not one. I ate real food and I ate it whenever I wanted. I now realize how powerful food is, and unfortunately how much garbage food is out there. And, it’s out there! I read all the labels now. And so much of it is junk and overrun with sugar and mysterious ingredients. But, there is good stuff out there and you can find if you take the time and make the commitment.

So, Whole 30…do I love it or do I loathe it?

Yes, I loved it at times…

Yes, I loathed it at times…

But most of all I learned from it-the power of my mind, the power of my body, and the power of food. It does all start with food! While Whole 30 won’t be my day in and day out daily lifestyle, it has changed my thinking about what I will and will not eat from this point forward.

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SOL

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On My Radar

This week in celebrating what’s on my radar of life!

On my running radar:

I will finish week #5 of the training plan for my upcoming 10 miler race, which is on August 27th. My week will round out with me running a total 20 miles in the heat and humidity.  Hopefully, Sunday will be cooler for my 8 mile long run. I can honestly say the temperatures are crushing my pace, but I’ll continue to push through. I am happy though that I ran a 4 miler this week and did break through the brick wall of heat. I also got in some cross-training this week of Yoga, BODYFLOW, BODYPUMP, and CXWORX.

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breaking the brick wall

On my reading radar:

You know it’s a great book when I finish it *fast*, since I’m the world’s slowest reader! Last week I finished Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon. It is geared toward the young adult reader and reminded me of The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. In fact, I liked Yoon’s book more so than Green’s. This week I’ll be wrapping up to I Will Always Write Back by Alifirenka & Ganda. It’s a compelling true story of a friendship from two different worlds. It’s an awe inspiring memoir that truly makes me appreciate the simple things of my life.

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two must reads

On my rockin’ mom radar:

The countdown is on! Maddie’s summer here at home is quickly coming to a halt – only one more week before she’s back at school. We have been busy shopping for her first-time apartment. I’m enjoying our time together shopping and the time we’ve been spending together at the gym. She’s a great workout buddy too!

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yoga buddies

And that’s a wrap for this runner, reader, and rockin’ mom!

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celebrate-image

 Join in each Saturday for Celebrate This Week with Ruth Ayres.
It’s a time to celebrate the joy!

Got Journals?

I’ve been spending wasting some time on Pinterest lately, but I think it is a good time-waster, if there is such a thing.

What have I been pinning?

journals, journals, and more journals!

All this pinning, well, it has me excited about journaling and bullet journaling.  And I found this great blog called Little Coffee Fox. If you want some great examples of bullet journals you need to check out this blog.

Everywhere I go I seem to be running into journals…

at T.J. MAXX

at Target

at Home Goods

on Amazon

on Instagram

here, there, everywhere!

And, I want to buy them all! But, I have my own journals here at home and I told myself that I would not purchase another one until I filled up at least one journal. So, I broke out my Erin Condren journal and got writing.

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*erin condren journal*

I’ve been writing my “morning pages” while the house is quiet and the fur kids are frolicking around their room.  I’ve also seen other SOL bloggers write about morning pages (shout-out to Molly & Michelle) so they have served as an inspiration.

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morning pages

Then, I dabbled in creating my gratitude page. I figured I would start with the month of August and jot down a gratitude a day.

Simple.Easy.Fun.Worthwhile!

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gratitude pages

My goal – fill up my Erin Condren journal by the end of the 2016. And, consequently, I did the math by counting up how many blank pages I have left in the journal and how many days are left in 2016. My goal is quite attainable I’m happy to report!

But wait, there’s more!

I can’t help but to show you the other journals that I have been keeping for some time now. They are what the teacher in me would call a “scaffold journal”. They already have templates in them and I just need to provide the words without worrying about structure.

Here’s my Believe Training Journal. I *heart* it. This is my second one and it works really well for tracking my training runs, races, and cross-training. It’s motivational and it just so happens to be in my favorite color!

Then there’s my One Line A Day Journal and my Reading Journal. I love the One Line A Day Journal because it is a diary of sorts for five years. I love looking back at what I was doing on the same day several years ago. It’s a five year journal and I’m already on year three! The Reading Journal allows me to write down books I’ve read and what the book is about. Both are fun and simple!

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Got journals?

Yeah, I got ‘um!

How about you?

~~~~~

SOL

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Join Me at Starbucks!

If we were chatting at Starbucks this morning I would share…

that I bit the bullet and signed up for *three* races. My first race will be a ten mile race right here in my home town. It’s on the local rail trail. I am so familiar with the course that there shouldn’t be any surprises. The ten miler is right around the corner, and before I know it August 27th will be here. I also signed up for a 5k in New Hope, PA. It’s called Run Now, Wine Later. I mean who wouldn’t want to run a race the serves you wine at the finish line! Actually, I ran this race last year with my friend Sandy and we had so much fun we decided to go back this September. And last but not least, in October I will be running a half marathon in Hershey, PA. This will be the first time I participated in this race. Several of my running friends will be there too. With all these upcoming races, my training is in full swing!

If we were chatting at Starbucks this morning I would share…

that I attended the Scholastic Reading Summit in Leesburg, VA. It was a one day conference but we managed to make it a girls’ overnight stay for a little pampering at the beautiful Landsdowne Resort & Spa. The theme of the conference was the power of Independent Reading. Although it was a small conference it had a big bang of presenters. In just one day I had the opportunity to hear John Schumacher, Donalyn Miller, Nancie Atwell, Lauren Tarshis, and Sara Pennypacker. Everyone was so motivating! I came home with an AwEsOmE “swag bag” of books, compliments of the Scholastic Reading Summit, and I bought my own stack of books for our classroom library.  All the books at the Scholastic book fair were 25% off! I have so many new titles to share and book talks to present. ***throw confetti*** If a Scholastic Reading Summit is in your area, I highly recommend it.

If we were chatting at Starbucks this morning I would share…

that summer is quickly coming to an end. Maddie and I have been busy getting ready for her move back to college. This year she will have an apartment off campus so we have been diligently shopping for big and small items for her new place. We’ve been pricing everything from mattresses, to curtains, to decorations. It’s an exciting time and she’s quite anxious to have her own place and space.

If we were chatting at Starbucks this morning I would share…

that I am quite envious of the pastries you picked out to enjoy with your coffee. I would only be drinking a hot tea straight up with no sugar because I am on day 16 of 30 of my Whole 30 food challenge journey. I’m happy to say that I have successfully made it past the halfway mark. It’s been a challenge to say the least, but I guess if it was easy everyone would do it!

So, that’s what’s been happening this running, reading, and rockin’ mom’s world. I’m wondering what you would be sharing with me at Starbucks this morning!

~~~~~

SOL

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that moment when…

It’s that moment when…

you realize your daughter is honestly an adult. When the family vacation is over she packs her own car, gives hugs & kisses and says good-bye. She drives up that hill, her car becoming smaller and smaller as she drifts farther and farther away, and I recognize that no matter how far away she travels that she is always tied to her roots. They grow up fast I was told, and it is true! Oh, so true!

It’s that moment when…

you realize that making memories out weighs any material possession. It’s the laughs we share. It’s the table we gather around. It’s the food and drinks that we appreciate together. It’s the boisterous moments and noiseless nights. It’s the songs we sing and the music we enjoy.

It’s that moment when…

you realize the gift of today. Perhaps it’s the sun shining on your face or the pitter-patter of the rain that soothes your soul. Today is your day, so go out there and make it a great one!

It’s that moment when…

you realize a picture really is worth 1,000 words. They remind us of our times together, how our kids have grown, and how we are growing older but how young at heart we truly are.

It’s that moment when…

you realize that time will never stand still. While we may think the days drag and the weeks linger, the only constant is change. Embrace the change. Live it, laugh with it, love it, and repeat the next day!

SOL

Slice of Life

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