Beach Body Update

So, Richard and I have be working out using Beach Body’s Liift4 for over 7 weeks. I have lost almost 10lb already. We are both starting to see changes in our bodies and are feeling a lot stronger.

The way the Liift4 program works is you work out 4 days a week for 30-40 min a day. It is a combination of weight lifting and HIIT. The first 5 weeks you do chest and triceps (day 1), back and biceps (day 2), shoulders (day 3) and legs (day 4). They change between circuit training (quad sets and just weights),  50/50 all lift in the beginning all HIIT in the end, intervals (2 weight lifting exercises and 1 HIIT in each set). Oh and every other leg day was just HIIT, my least favorite day. Then at the end of each day you do 2/3 core exercises.

Each week you switch the order of the exercises. This forces your body to adapt to the changes. I really enjoyed the interval and circuit days. I recognize the need for the HIIT components. I realize that getting that cardio bursts help with the weight loss. I just prefer lifting, I love seeing myself choose heavier weights. I love it when I’m lifting a weight heavier than the ladies who are demoing on the taping.

The last two weeks the whole routine gets changed around. These are “Shred” weeks. Day 1 is chest and back circuit, day 2 is legs 50/50, day 3 is shoulders and arms circuit, and day 4 is total body HIIT.

I hope that as we continue this program we continue to see definition to our muscles. I want to see my pants get looser, isn’t that the goal of most females who workout? I know I”m getting strong. I’m not craving foods. I’m not stress eating. I drink the shakology every day for breakfast. I do not follow the rest of the meal play, but I do watch what I eat. The program allows for one cheat day. I allow myself one cheat meal. I use this on the weekends.


family · life · through my camera lens

Painting, yard work and working out

Life has been so busy lately.

Richard and I finished painting the basement! We painted the media area the dark green and then the stairwell the light area.

Saturday, Richard and I spend about 3 hours working outside. We seeded, fertalized and did a bit of other work on the yard. We replanted 3 plants that outgrew their pots. We also made 2 new spider plants out of my spider babies and a new pothos plant with clippings from Colby’s plant. Then we took on the way back. Richard got out the brush cutter and I took the large loppers and we went to work cleaning out lots and lots of brush. It’s crazy when you realize how much you cut, and then look at how much more needs to still be done back there. But hey, at least we made a dent.

We went on a bike ride/hike yesterday.  It was nice to get out on the trails after a long busy week. I ended up hiking just over 3 miles.

Today we started our FOURTH week of Liift4 on Beachbody. I can definitely feel myself getting stronger and am able to lift heavier weights. I won’t say that I’ve seen a ton of difference in my clothes or on the scale, but I feel a lot better getting up, working out and focusing on eating healthier. I am not following their food plan exactly. I am more focused on eating healthier instead of working on measuring out portions and counting the amount of each type of food I eat. I always feel that heath, fitness and nutrition need to be natural parts of your life not forced pieces if you are going to keep up the work. I know the fact that I’m lifting will burn calories. I know that the HIIT parts is the best way to get cardio. I also know that eating more veggies and lean protein will fuel my body in a healthy way.  Now I make all that knowledge work for me!



Update on Working out

This week Richard was away on travel so we decided to put off jumping into Liift4 for another week. This did not mean I didn’t workout!

I did a lot of 21 day fix workouts this week. I like that I have the option of picking from all their programs. Here is a glimpse into my workouts this week.

Monday– Upper body. This workout was a combination of 5 or 6 different moves where you did 1 min of each move.  then you did it all over again! oh and then you did a total different set of 5 moves for one min each…. twice through! It worked chest, shoulders, biceps and triceps.

The boys had mountain biking so I went for a hike. I went on 4 different trails. The whole hike was 2.22 miles, but had a 256 ft elevation gain. I love my map my hike ap to track where I hike. It also tracks distance, time, pace, elevation and “calories burned” (we all know that this isn’t accurate since it wouldn’t have enough info to really determine how many calories I burned.

Tuesday– I did a whole body workout. This time you did pairs of moves for 1 minute each. I can’t remember how many sets of moves we did. But, 30 min of total body weight workout brings about a good sweat!

I have started walking twice a week with a neighbor through our neighborhood. We are meeting up at 6:45am, so before 8am I had two workouts done on Tuesday. I walked just over 3 miles. This time with a 211ft elevation gain. There are a few hills in our neighborhood that really get your attention. It was nice to walk and chat together for about an hour.

Wednesday should be a rest day in Liift 4, but we have already decided that it will be a day to workout with the boys and/or do abs. So I did both. I did a 10 min ab routine and then later did a 30 min yoga with the boys. It was 20 min of yoga and 10 min of mediation. We are going to start working on mediation with the boys to help them slow down and cope with life better.

Thursday, I did a 30 min Pilates routine. Pilates is one of the of the classes I took back in FL when we had memberships at the Y. I really enjoy the lengthening and strengthening goal of this workout.

I then headed out to walk with my neighbor. I ended up walking 2.61 miles this time. When we got closer to my house I notice Blake out on his bike and he proceeded to crash and then mess up the derailer on his bike. This cut my walk a bit shorter, but that was ok. I fixed the derailer to the best of my ability since the boys had mountain biking.

While at mountain biking this time I decided to just walk the paved road loop. I again had map my hike on and realized that I’ve taken 2 min off my average mile time when walking this look. I walked just over 3 miles. This meant I walked over 5 miles in total.

Friday– I decided to hit the snooze button today. Then when it went off again I reset it for 6:30 I was tired! I did workout. I did a 30 min cardio workout which really got my heart rate up. I don’t think I’ll get a second workout in today.

I’m pleased with my work this week. I don’t sleep as well when Richard isn’t home. I know I tend to stay up later and I’m still getting up at 5:30 (ok not today, but you get the gist). I know it will take time to see more of the physical changes, but I’m happy with my tenacity to keep up the work. And, I’ve done a good job at keeping up with the nutrition too. I have had coffee a few times this week… again I’m tired from sleeping like crap. I think we are having pizza on Sunday that will be my cheat day.  Next week we will again do B4 Liift4 and then we have 8 weeks of the Liift program. Time to get strong!

family · life · Must Have Monday

Weekend Update

Happy Monday Morning…. why does that always sound soooo wrong when you say that? So, I don’t think I even opened up my laptop this weekend, hence the lack of blogging. So let me catch you up on life!

Friday was the boy’s last day of theater camp and there production. They did Frozen Kids this time. Colby was Olaf and Blake was the Duke of Weselton. They had so much fun. I am totally impressed that these kids can learn a whole musical (lines, scores, blocking, dances etc) in one week.  Well it isn’t even a week. On Monday they have auditions. Then they practice T, W, Th at the studio and then on Friday they have their dress rehearsal and the show.  (pictures taken after the show– Colby was hot in his Olaf costume and Blake’s wig was driving him crazy. so they aren’t the best pics, but they had fun)

Saturday we slept in! I think that was the thing Richard and I were looking forward to the most for the weekend. Getting up at 5:30am everyday to workout is good… and bad! But, worth it. Saturday and Sunday are rests days in this program so we didn’t have to get up and get moving. I took Saturday as my cheat day too. This meant I finally got to try the PB&J cookies. They were really good I think the ratio of peanut butter to jelly was off. I almost would prefer them as a thumbprint cookie instead. We ran a bunch of errands including going and researching getting a full rack of dumbbells for working out. Then went out for Tex-Mex for dinner.

When we lived in FL we had a few different Tex-Mex places that we went to on a pretty regular basis. I guess Tex-Mex isn’t as popular here, or it at least doesn’t live up to our standards.  We keep trying different places, but haven’t found that OMG this is good Tex-Mex just yet. The one we went to on Sat. was the closest we’ve tried. We would at least go back to this one again opposed to the others that were one and done places.

Sunday found us with beautiful weather and motivation to hit the trails. I dropped Richard and the boys off for a bike ride and went for a hike. I found it a lot easier to walk trails that I’ve walked before. I wasn’t having to stop to catch my breath after climbing the hills and increased my pace. I hiked just a bit under 2 miles. The guys rode just under 5 miles. The rest of the day found us doing relaxing things at home.

I finished 2 of the books I got at the library this week and the third books I read two chapter of and then gave up because it didn’t peek my interest enough. I also deleted the book I was reading on my kindle, that one started to get too smutty. I’m now reading a book on my kindle about Hemingway until I get back to the library.

Ok that is my weekend in a nutshell. Hope you had a good weekend too


family · life

rambles about the week

This has been a strange weather week. Almost ever day there was rain on the forecast. But, most days we got little to no rain. We ended up giving in and getting more sprinklers for the lawn. The grass was getting a bit crunchy. At least I don’t have to mow the lawn. We did finally get rain last night so at least mother nature decided to help out the plants a bit. The temperatures were all over the place. It was hot-ish and humid. We didn’t get to open the windows.

Richard and I managed to get up at 5:30am M, T, Th and F to workout. I’ve done really good with my diet too. Last night I made spaghetti and meatballs with rolls. I only had meatballs and a tiny portion of spaghetti to sop up the sauce. I still haven’t tried the P B &J cookies that I made the other day. Richard took the tin to work yesterday and his co-workers quite enjoyed it, so he brought the second tin in today. I’m still working on finding proteins I would enjoy having for a snack.

I will tell you this. My,… Body…. HURTS! It’s that good workout hurt. I can feel my abs, back, legs, arms, and so much more. I’m glad that we have decided to jump in and do this, and do it together. I’ll be excited to see the changes in my body in the next few weeks. This week I’m going to play around with some of the other workouts that are available and maybe even do some more with the boys.

The boys start back doing mountain biking on Monday. This means that I go back to hiking two days a week. One of my neighbors also asked me if I’d like to walk with her. So on Tuesday and Thursdays, I’m going to walk with her in the mornings after my workout. I guess getting back in shape is going to be my new “hard thing”… it’s worth it.

Hope you had a good week and have found something that makes you feel better too.

family · life

Beach Body Bandwagon

Happy Monday morning! I’ve been up and going since 5:30am so I feel like it’s time for lunch and it’s only 10am. A few weeks ago I contacted a friend of mine who is a coach in the Beach Body program. I have quite a few people on my Facebook that are Beach Body coaches, but the one I contacted was a co-worker in FL that I got along with well and knows me the best. So while many people have been on the Beach Body kick since 21 Day Fix became popular I fought joining the craze. I did P90X years ago and loved it, but it was soooo long. I had a hard time fitting it into my day. Then when they started 21 Day Fix I was turn off by the limitations of the foods and trying Shakeology.

Fast forward to the end of June/beginning of July. Richard and I started talking about heath and fitness. We decided it was time for a change. We were spending a lot of money on a gym membership that we got to once a week if we were lucky. Yes, I know I could have gone more often since I don’t work, but I wasn’t motivated to go. I didn’t like going there on my own. I liked it even less when I had to drag the kids along. When we first joined I went almost every day. We used the pool and the boys could workout and then play video games in their youth room. The club changed in a variety of ways. They changed ownership. They began renovations. They closed the youth area and mixed the tweens in with the younger kids and took away the child size fitness equipment. We had the kids go and take their kids workout class, but they were still not allowed to use the cardio equipment, even though they’d been trained while in the youth zone or the weight area even thought they took the kids lifting classes. I was over it! So on Sunday we turned in the paperwork to terminate our membership.

So I decided to contact Katie and get onto the Beach Body bandwagon. They have just started a new program called Liift4 which is a combination of weight lifting and Hiit. My Beach Body box arrived on Saturday. I tried the chocolate Shakeology on Sunday and was surprised how well it filled me and how good it tasted. I haven’t played with the flavor combinations much yet, but it should be fun to try. I’ve had access to the on-line videos since I signed up. On Friday the boys and I tried out 2 of the kid/family friendly workouts. Today Richard and I began the pre-Liift4 workouts. We will do that for two weeks, since Richard is traveling next week, and then jump into the real program.

I do hope that this program helps me find my motivation. My goal is to slim back down, get stronger, healthier and feel more motivated to work out again. I want to feel good about myself when I get moving each day. I know that the energy gained from working out is worth it. Now I just need to keep moving!

So you might see a slight change in the foods I post about. You might here me talk about working out a bit more. But, just know I’m making these changes for me… and that is what’s important!


family · food · life

Routines and changes

Life has settled back into  our summer routine. I’m starting to work on the boy’s sleep schedule. On Monday they start back into theater camp. That means they need to be up and moving to be out the door to be at camp at 9am. There have been days this summer where Colby didn’t get up until 10am. What is going to happen when he’s a teen if he does this at 10?

I got the boys up today at 8am and we did a workout. We did a 25 min cardio and then a 5 min abs. Richard and I are starting a new workout routine on Monday and the boys say they want to do it too… lets see if we can all get up and moving to do it.

The boys and I are also going to the grocery store today. We worked on the menu last night… fish tacos (I made homemade coleslaw for this), ribs with corn, homemade pizza (I am making pizza dough we will see what we have with it), grilled chicken and sweet potato, taco Tuesday!, grilled tuna steaks and fruit plate, meatballs. Friday is the boy’s play (Frozen again)

Hard to believe in about a month the boys will be going back to school. They start back on Aug 23rd. Blake will be a 6th grader and Colby a 5th grader. Time to get back into routines. Getting up in the morning. Eating breakfast (Colby doesn’t eat it on the days he sleeps in late), having simpler healthy dinners.

family · life

Friday rambles

Yesterday the boys had their second mountain biking lesson. They are really enjoying this. I went for a walk again. This time I didn’t go on the trails, but stayed on the paved areas. I walked just shy of 4 miles. We had a huge rain storm during the day yesterday, but it the weather improved and it was the perfect weather to be out in the park.

Today has been overcast and on the cool side. After breakfast this morning, I went outside and mowed the lawn. I decided to stick my phone in my pocket and put on “map my hike” while I mowed. It was about 1.5 miles and we don’t even have grass on our whole lot just yet. (we haven’t dealt with the back of the lot yet since we want to alter the topography of the lot still) Let me tell you… my hips hurt now.

This means I had four walks over 1 mile this week. I’m trying to get more walks/hikes in each week. I was thinking last night that I should probably find my headphones and start playing music or even a book while I walk during the boys biking class. I am almost done with both of the books I’m reading now. I haven’t decided if I want to start using my kindle before I go to bed or continue to have a real book for reading upstairs in bed.

It looks like we are going to have a soggy weekend. I have no clue what we will end up doing this weekend. We will probably try to get to the gym and the boys are wanting to go biking with Richard to show him the trails they have ridden in class. Lets see if the weather allows that to happen. All I know is Sunday we are having pizza and I’m making more of the garlic rolls I made with Alton Brown’s pizza dough… yum!

Hope you have something fun planned for your weekend.



food · life · through my camera lens

Rambles and Pasta Salad

Yesterday the boys had their first mountain biking lesson. They left excited to go back on Thursday! That makes it feel like money well spent. While they biked I went off on a hike. I’d hiked over 1 mile when Richard surprised me by showing up to walk with me. I had to hike back out and meet up with him. I ended up hiking/walking over 3 miles in about an hour. I wasn’t doing a good job about pausing my app while texting/talking to Richard in order to figure out where we were going to meet up. So, I’m not sure how long I walked, but I don’t care that was still good hike.

One of the places I came across on my hike has a “forever tree”. This is a tree dedicated to those furry friends who loved North Park, but are no longer with us. People add medal ornaments to the tree to honor these pets. Such a loving tribute.

Today I decided to take my coffee and make it a smoothie. I used 1 cup of chocolate coffee, a splash of chocolate creamer, and 1.5 frozen bananas. I blended it up and called it a drink. It was yummy… I’d show a picture, but I finished it before I decided to share about having it.

While I was having my coffee smoothie I worked on lunch. I know I often talk about the foods I make for the family for dinner, but almost never discuss breakfast or lunch. Part of that is breakfast and lunch is take care of yourself meals. I haven’t made breakfast or lunch for my boys since they were about 5. Most days my lunch is open the fridge and toss whatever I find on top of salad, pasta, rice or something on that idea. I will also eat leftovers as is, but I typically like to reinvent them so they feel new and not just leftovers.

Today, since I went to the grocery store, I decided to make myself a pasta salad. I love pasta salad and is such a great side, but for me… it’s lunch!


Today’s pasta salad

  • bowtie pasta (about 1/4 a package)
  • zucchini -diced
  • grape or cherry tomatoes (I used a 10oz package) split
  • heavy handful of spinach
  • 1/4 package of broccoli slaw
  • fresh motzarella
  • Italian Dressing (I used Ken’s Simply Vinaigrette Italian)
  • EVOO
  • 2 Tbsp garlic powder

Cook pasta according to package. When done make sure to rinse in cool water to cool down the pasta

Dice zucchini. Heat EVOO in a skillet. In skillet put half of the tomatoes and zucchini. Dust with garlic powder. When cooked to the texture you like, leave to cool.

Chop of the spinach. Cut the rest of the tomatoes in half. Cut mozzarella into bite size pieces.

In a large bowl place the spinach, broccoli slaw, chopped tomatoes and mozzarella. When pasta and veggie are cooled down add to bowl. Top with dressing and then toss.

Refrigerate. I put it into the fridge for 40 min or so before eating. This is one of those the longer it sits the better it tastes.


I like the fact that there is more veggies than pasta. You can put in whatever veggie float your boat. I was trying to go for an Italian-ish flavor profile. Do you have a favorite pasta salad? What do you put in yours?

food · life · reviews

Ice cream cookie sandwiches

This weekend found us wearing shorts and t-shirts. We spent most of our time outside being active and doing yard work. Today… not so much. I had to switch the thermostat from having the A/C on to having the heat on before we went to bed last night,. We had the air on because it was in the high 70s/ low 80s, but raining so the windows couldn’t be open. We needed the A/C on both Friday night and Saturday night for sleeping. We woke up to rain again, but now the temperatures were in the 40s. The temperature has dropped today and we actually had flurries earlier in the day.

On Sunday, we decided to head over to Costco and do a bit of shopping. We spent way too much money, but hey we don’t go very often. We purchased more meats, ziplock bags, Excedrin and snacks for the boys. These are items that I now won’t have to buy again for quite a while. We also purchased a ceiling fan for the morning room, light bulbs and clothes for Richard and I. One random thing we did pick up was a package of chocolate chip cookies. When we used to shop of BJ’s Warehouse we really enjoyed their chocolate chip cookies. We thought these would be similar. When we tried them we were disappointed.

icecream copy

So, what does one do when you have cookies that are just ok? Well, we decided to pick up some ice cream and make ice cream sandwiches. I stopped at the grocery store after I worked out at the gym (that makes the 4th day in a row that I got a workout of some kind in… progress). I picked up 3 different kinds of ice cream. My sons do not like the same kind of ice cream, and well they were on sale 3 for $10 so I got a flavor for Richard too.

Making cookie ice cream sandwiches is so easy to make. Let the ice cream get a bit soft. Put a scoop of ice cream between two cookies. Press the top cookie down a bit to settle out the ice cream layer. I then wrap each cookie into plastic wrap and freeze. Hopefully this will help with the cookie, if not… well we have ice cream to have!

Next time, I’ll have to make my own cookies, and ice cream… yummm homemade ice cream, now that is something I haven’t made in a while.