Day 49: Dog walk and tai chi

Today is the first day in 7 weeks that I did not get up to do a T25 workout. Hubs and I decided to do the Alpha round a second time before going on to the Beta round. But this morning, my body just didn’t want to. My hip ached and I sounded like a bowl of rice crispies when you pour milk over them. I was snapping and popping in all my joints. The post-baby body can be a bit of a challenge at times. I figured since I have my weekly Tai Chi class tonight, I will just count that as my daily exercise. I also did not get out with my canine either, but the day is not over. These days our walks look like this: snow packed and icy.


I hate to think I may be getting the winter blues or at least feeling the mid-winter slump… Maybe it’s just the ongoing cold that is zapping my energy. Apart from traveling to a sunny destination, I am not sure what would pep me back up.

What do you do when your energy feels low?


Day 44: Resolution Check In

Since it is St. Valentine’s eve officially marking the half way point through the 2nd month of the year, I think it’s a good time to Stop. Look at my resolutions. And asses where I am at.

123 Day Exercise Challenge:
44 days of exercise DONE! I have managed to DO something, EVERYDAY even if it is just 15 minutes of yoga! I’m a morning person so I tackle exercise as soon as I roll out of bed (while the baby is sleeping). Otherwise there is a good chance it won’t happen.

January STATS:
ME: 861 minutes of exercise for the month (14.4 hours)
HUBS: 1067 minutes of exercise for the month (17.8 hours)

February STATS to date:
ME: 329 minutes (5.5 hours)
HUBS: 140 minutes (2.3 hours)

365 Dog Walks
40 dog walks to date. The days I missed were either because I ran out of time in the morning before work OR because it was -20 degrees with the wind chill and I didn’t feel it was safe for doggy paws to be exposed to the cold snow pack and the wind chill. I have however started taking our dog to a new doggie daycare where its open play so she comes home tired! A tired dog is a happy dog, or so they say.  Also, I originally mapped my dog walks with MapMyWalk but it was a real pain to remember to log it everyday on top of the spreadsheet I am keeping. So I have ditched the app and am sticking to my old school method.

Small Saving Goal
This fall I opened a new bank account where my husband banks. For the start of the new year I ordered my checks, initiated direct deposit and am ready to close my old account. As it turns out, there are a few hundred dollars in there I used as a cushion to avoid overdraft charges (which I never had to use) so I am putting that extra money toward my small savings goal. 🙂

Found Money Jar
Since I rarely go anywhere these days, I am failing miserably in this area….I guess it will have to be a longer term goal.

So what’s new with your goals? Are you forging ahead?

Three Posts Thursday

Since Saturday is Valentine’s Day and love is in the air…I am here to spread some blog love.

These are my picks for this week’s Three Posts Thursday. I enjoyed each of these blog posts for one reason or another. Maybe you will enjoy them too 🙂

Woodstock by the Geek Chick  – Great photos!
Early Morning Confessions by blissfulbrit – I enjoyed the candor, especially about the dog….
Green Fingers by bunnyciao – a Parisian garden in all its decadence makes me look forward to spring, sunshine, wild flowers, and daydreams.


What happened to the exercise challenge?

My husband claims that his lack of participation these last 2 weeks (apart from an unfortunate tumble down the basement steps, missing his chair last weekend and landing on his tailbone, AND a wicked callous on his toe) is because I have not been blogging about it. I guess he called me out on that one. Hubs interpreted my lack of blogging on the issue as meaning ‘it isn’t a *thing* we were still doing’. Guess what hubs ♡?….not so!

In fact, I have woken my tired behind up every morning between 5:30 and 6am to get IT done! To hubs credit, he is right in that I have not really blogged about it. When you fall off the stairs wagon, climb right back on!

Here are some revelations about our 123 day Exercise Challenge:

1. Doing a workout video at home is SO much easier than getting up, taking care of the animals, getting myself and my infant daughter dressed and ready, warming up the snowy car and driving 8 miles to the gym.

2. T25 is no joke. I started this workout 3.5 weeks postpartum and made it through week 7. At that point I had lost most of my pregnancy weight and my body was immensely sore in all of my joints so I stopped T25 and headed back to the gym and spin bike. (soreness turned out to be unrelated to the exercise but it got me back to the gym)

3. Pushing through the workouts on my tired days is worth it!

4. Yoga at least once a week helps round out the workout routine.

5. I miss the spin bike….a lot.

While I love getting a workout done in 25 minutes and not having to trudge through the 3 feet of snow we have here ☃; not to mention the single digit temperatures in the mornings, I really miss long cardio sessions with my iPod. And by long, I mean 35-40 minutes – I don’t get much free time without the baby.

Any one have any tips for getting more cardio at home?

#1000Speak; Speak for Compassion on 02/20/2015

You may have noticed a new badge on my blog: #1000 voices blogging for compassionI was part of the first 900 bloggers to join this campaign and boy is it growing!

Call to Action:

“Let’s get 1000 bloggers to write posts about compassion, kindness, support, caring for others, non-judgement, care for the environment etc, and ALL PUBLISH ON THE SAME DAY (Feb 20th) to flood the Blogosphere with GOOD! Use the hashtag #1000Speak to promote this event.”

I have a strong belief in intention and personal energy and have practiced the meditation of Loving Kindness. Will this effort of bloggers posting about compassion on the same day soften the universe a little, I like to think so. I am looking forward to participating and spreading love, compassion, support, caring and acceptance. If you are interested in joining this blog event, you can find out more here.

☮ & ♡,
Erin @123

It’s official (no more meat) and I blame it on hormones

I gave myself the gift of vegetarianism for my 25th birthday. At that point I had long left red meat and pork behind. In fact, the last hamburger I ate was back in 1996 at my college dining hall. People always asked what led me to give up meat and to tell you the truth, it started when I was a toddler. Family folklore tells the tale of me ordering nothing but grilled cheese or chicken when dining out my entire childhood. When it came to vegetables, I was the six-year-old chowing down spinach and lima beans while my brother was hiding his veggies in his dinner napkin. And I was notorious for stealing raw potato chunks while my mother peeled and sliced them for dinner. I have always loved the salad bar, eating the skin of a baked potato, have never met a vegetable I didn’t like, and would often refuse to eat meat.

I first declared “I am no longer eating red meat” the summer of 1990. My understanding father indulged me with turkey burgers and grilled chicken that summer. Because I lived with my mother during the school year, my red meat ban didn’t stick and I occasionally ate meat to stop the dinner time battles. Fast forward to freedom college and I stopped eating red meat all together.

So the looming question…”why didn’t you like red meat”? To me it tastes like metal. Red meat has a very specific metallic taste to me. Have you ever bitten your tongue (of course you have!) and it bleeds a little… and tastes..well…metalic? I assume it is the iron (blood) of the animal. I mean, would you suck on a piece of metal??? Gross, right? But that’s what it tastes like to me. As for pork, it’s just not my thing taste, texture or smell wise.

In the entire twelve years I was a vegetarian (evolving into a pescatarian), I never once became anemic. It turns out my body (likely due to Celiac) stores iron. If I was not a vegetarian I may have had iron levels that were too high. I don’t think my vegetarianism was a coincidence, I think my body knew what to do.

Now here is the twist…10 weeks into my pregnancy and 12 years with no meat, ALL I WANTED WAS CHICKEN!! And I ATE it, and ate it, and ate it. I even ate a Nathan’s hotdog when I was 27 weeks pregnant (clearly a low point for my palate). After my daughter was born, I had some complications and lost a LOT of blood. I had an uncanny resemblance to Dracula’s daughter (‘vamp’ is not a good look for me) and was prescribed iron tablets. My CBC count stabilized very quickly which seemed to surprise the doctors. At the hospital I narrowly avoided a blood transfusion and 3 weeks later you would have never known.

Let’s fast forward again. Here we are in February of 2015. My daughter is now 8 months old and starting finger foods. I am still breastfeeding but my craving for meat has plummeted. On January 31st I cooked Ball Park turkey dogs. I prefer Applegate Farms organic, but my husband bought Ball Park so I wasn’t going to be a snob about it. They did not look like the healthiest hotdogs so I cooked them until they had stripped black wrinkly skin. Twelve hours later and for the next 36 hours I had an intestinal upset I never want to experience again. A few days later I was cooking organic turkey bacon and could barely look at it much less stomach the smell of cooking meat. It just all clicked. Just.  Like. That. I am DONE with meat again.

All I can say is that I need to listen to my body. I didn’t think twice about eating meat while I was pregnant because I knew it was not me that wanted the large amount of animal flesh protein and iron, it was my growing baby who demanded it so I just went with it. People who know me were tickled by my aversion to anything green and leafy and my new-found love of chicken and turkey. I am not sure what causes these sudden onsets of food cravings and aversions. I chalk it up to hormones. Baby J is now 8 months, eating whole foods and not requiring as much breast milk. I think this meat thing is an indication of my child getting nutrients from whole foods now and that weaning may be near.

So I guess it’s official. February 4, 2015 started my meat free life….again.

Are you a vegetarian or a vegan? What made you give up meat? Or start eating meat again?

Oil Pulling 101

Have you heard of oil pulling? Do you do it? My dental technician first told me about this Ayurvedic practice while I was sitting in the dentist chair getting an impression made for a crown. What a bummer getting a crown is. Dental issues are an unfortunate side effect of Celiac Disease when your body is not absorbing minerals and other nutrients properly, despite impeccable hygiene. While I have fought the good fight for a decade already, I am sure pregnancy and breastfeeding are contributing these days.

According to the dental tech, oil pulling helps pull out toxins, improve gum health and whitens teeth. She even started doing it herself. I was intrigued so I did a little research and this is what I found:
Oral Health Benefits include less bacteria and whiter teeth.
Clearer skin, increased energy, fewer headaches
Decrease in dental caries

If you are interested in trying this, I found the information at Wellness Mama very useful.
According to Wellness Mama, this is how to use Coconut Oil for Oil Pulling;
(*these are my comments)

  • Put 1-2 teaspoons of coconut oil into the mouth swish for 20 minutes.
    *some sites say you need at least 5 mins of swishing to get any benefit.
  • The oil will get thicker and milky as it mixed with saliva during this time and it should be creamy-white when spit out.
    *BTW- I found this to be true when I tried it this morning. I did 1 tsp for 10 mins.
  • Spit oil into the trash can *OOPS!
  • Rinse well with warm water. Warm water seems to clean the mouth better (my opinion). Occasionally, I swish with salt water which seems more effective but is also more work.
    *I will try the after rinse with warm salt water tomorrow.

The dental tech told me you are supposed to do this on an empty stomach (not sure why), so I did it first thing this morning after my work out. I used Dr. Bronners’ coconut oil. I actually use this for cooking, face moisturizer, and Baby J’s diaper cream. Truth be told, I am a coffee drinker and an ex-smoker so I took pictures of my teeth this morning to track my progress. Come on…you knew that was coming (tracking my progress!). If anyone has any experience with oil pulling I would love to hear about it.

The MOTHER of all planners. And….it’s FREE

TGIF! That’s how I feel on this snowy, slippery, cold Friday morning. Forecast of -20 degrees over night (Brrrrr….). To rewind for a moment, I remember seeing numerous bloggers out there discussing their choices of planners and notebooks for the new year. I even read about some folks anticipating their arrival of the Passion Planner post Kickstarter completion. And because free is good, frugal, and well…FREE I thought I would share this: Passion Planner. You can use (download) the Passion Planner for FREE.
WARNING: for those who are planners and list makers (like me), this appears to be the MOTHER of all planners!  Journal, sketchbook, gratitude log, goal setting guide, to-do list, quotes, weekly & daily focuses…that’s a LOT.

If you are not a planner enthusiast but like to get *IT* done, I recommend Toodeldo with its new ‘productivity’ suite. I think apps are  great, but will admit I prefer old-fashioned pen and paper and am an avid user of the Moleskin 18 month weekly planner (been using them for years).  While Moleskin planners are not free, Toodeldo and Passion Planner are. So, if you have a money saving, non-spending, frugal goal or a general want to get organized, check out the freebies and see what works best for you.

Did I already mention TGIF? 😉

Feel good vibes: The Liebster Award

When it strikes you twice, it’s time to accept. 🙂 Back in November (2014 – so last year! 😉 ) theoldfellowgoesrunning nominated me for the Liebster. I had really, really wanted to accept the award but I felt I did not have the time to answer all the questions, pass on the goodness, etc… I have often thought about responding to Carl’s nomination all these months since, but it looks like I have a second chance and this time I am ready. By the way, theoldfellowgoesrunning is a wonderful blog.  Carl’s posts are always thoughtful and thought-provoking. Thank for the original nomination Carl!

The current nomination comes from spanishmossseries!! A BIG THANK YOU to Janet. This blog goddess is a writer and foodie ;-). And by the way, I really enjoy these awards, not because my blog is any big deal, but because it feels like a ray of sunshine when you are nominated by a fellow blogger. It just spreads cheer (and blog love) and we could all use MORE cheer (and Love) in our lives.

The Liebster Award Rules

  • Acknowledge and link back to the person who nominated you (Thank you Janet!)
  • Answer the 11 questions asked by the person who nominated you
  • Share 11 random facts about yourself
  • Nominate 11 bloggers with less than 200 followers.
  • Give your nominees 11 questions to answer on their blog when they post about the Liebster Award.

Random Facts About Myself

  1. I got married at the age of 35
  2. I hold a Master’s degree in Community & Counseling Psychology (and I don’t work as a counselor – go figure)
  3. I have lived in two states (NY and CO)
  4. I have a strong desire to continue to grow emotionally and spiritually through my life
  5. I do not wear or own makeup
  6. I play Tai Chi (Sun Family Style)
  7. I haven’t met a vegetable I didn’t like
  8. I have no desire to ride a horse
  9. I really DISLIKE the taste of milk (in ALL it’s cow forms including chocolate)
  10. I want to learn how to sew
  11. My favorite book is Ethan Frome

Q&A From My Nominator (nominees please answer these same 11 questions)

  1. Grab the book nearest to you, turn to page 29, and find line 4. What is the book and does it say? Business, Society & Government, “…firms must abide by when conducting business in the market environment”
  2. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?  Hmmm, definitely somewhere in Europe
  3. If you could change one thing about the world, what would you do? Eliminate greed
  4. Is the glass half empty or half full? Depends on my mood...
  5. When is the last time you ate a homegrown tomato? I don’t grow tomatoes but my CSA does – last tomato from the farm was September
  6. What did you want to be when you grew up? My childhood love was dance (10 years!)- as a teen, Magazine layout editor.
  7. What is your favorite time of the day? Just before the sun comes up…Stillness…
  8. What inspires you? Bravery
  9. What is your favorite childhood memory? Making mud pies and pretending a broken tree stump was the thrown to our ‘kingdom’. 
  10. What three things in nature do you find most beautiful? The stars, waterfalls, mountains
  11. Who are your Nominees?
    1. Accidental Hippies
    2. Angie Does Until She Doesn’t
    3. Aspen & Pine
    4. bunnyciao
    5. DIY Simple Beauty Secrets
    6. Deb Palmer
    7. Domesticated Momster
    8. Erin’s Backyard Farm
    9. Hatches and Rambles
    10. France’s Organic Beauty Secrets
    11. The Journal Writer’s Handbook

Another reason I really enjoy these awards, I like to see what other bloggers are reading. If you have time, check out some of these blogs. They are all interesting in their own write 🙂 And of course, please stop by  spanishmossseries.

Happy Blogging!


Lovely Letters: Part II

I have waited to post a picture of the package I sent to my snail mail blog pal Sarah. Here is it!


I had not realized “Goals” was the theme of the month…whoops! Instead, I subscribed to Sarah’s blog and read about what she liked to do and one thing for sure is that she likes Yoga, so I used it as my theme. This was the first time I have participated in a mail exchange so I really had no idea what to expect.

Yesterday I received this (baby excluded):



Wow!!! I was pretty impressed! I AM a list maker so I think she hit the nail on the head :-). A BIG thank you to my pen pal Sarah over at Say Hello. If you are interested in a blog pen pail, you can link up here.