Tag Archives: blogging

A Penny for Your Thoughts

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Last night Larry asked me a question I had certainly been avoiding.  He wanted to know when the last time I blogged was, and why I wasn’t writing any more.

I had been avoiding the question, because, to be completely honest, I don’t have a very good answer.

Blogging had become somewhat of an “I have to” instead of an “I want to.”

And that, my friends, defeats the purpose of this project.

In the past few days I have read 2.5 novels, run countless miles (on the treadmill!!!), eaten clean, eaten a little dirty, gone to a concert, gone to a small town street festival, and taught a kindergarten summer school class.  I’ve been a little sick and my camera is dead.  I have had sleepless nights and nights where I’ve slept like a log.  I’ve avoided the computer like the plague, and only used my cell phone when it was charged and within a reachable distance.   

It’s been kind of nice keeping these things to myself.  They feel a little bit more personal.  I’ve felt a little lighter. 

I’m not giving up on the blog.  Just writing this short synopsis actually feels great and the writing itch has returned.  I just needed a little break to be alone with my thoughts for a while.

Tomorrow I leave for the beach and I plan on taking my laptop.  I may not write every single day I am there, but I do know that the beach provides the perfect opportunity to immortalize memories with words.  That is something I simply can not pass up. 

How do you feel about technology and the constant interconnectedness that it causes? 

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Weather, Work and Politics

Happy Memorial Day weekend everybody!

The weather looks a whole lot better than what they were calling for today. 

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I’m starting to think that being a meteorologist is the way to go.  You get paid to guess at the weather, and you don’t even have to be right! ;)  Thursday they were calling for it to be 73 degrees with scattered showers.  Last night they were saying it would be cloudy and raining on and off all day.  Now:

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Hopefully it will stay this way and Larry and I can go to our new pool for the first time!  ;)  We went running by it the other day and watched the swim team practice.  I can’t wait!

I want to take a minute to explain why I haven’t been posting every day the past few weeks.  At first I wanted to apologize, but then I realized that a simple explanation might do

I love to write this blog.  It has brought me so much happiness.  I have a more positive outlook in life and feel less stressed (most of the time!).  It  has been therapeutic for me.

This being said, there are some days, after a long day of work and daily to-dos, that posting would just be stretching myself too thin. On those days, I have to make a choice.  Some of those days I choose to write, and I feel myself relax, and I’m happy I did it.  However, on others, I choose to relax with Larry and take a day off.  That feels pretty good, too!

This week was SOL testing week, and work was pretty crazy.  Have you ever tried to keep a class of 22 eight  year olds silent for 3 hours, five days a week???  Talk about exhausting! 

Thank goodness testing is over now, and we can go back to a somewhat normal routine.  My goal is to get the kids outside as much as possible.  We are going to do a lot of Project Learning Tree lessons.  These kids need to be outside in nature, moving and being active.  Not stuck in a classroom, being silent, and filling in tiny little bubbles for hours on end.  I could go on and on about the demise of public education in America, but I won’t bore you with politics today 😉

Today I plan on going for a 5 mile run, followed by a thorough house cleaning, Target trip, and possibly a little Memorial Day sale perusing at the mall.  When Larry gets home we are going to the pool and then out to get some sushi :) 

Anyone know of any great sales happening this weekend? 

Happy Saturday!  Drink Responsibly and Wear Sunscreen!!! 

~Jen

magnolia Remember, Be Happy, Be Healthy, Be You!!!

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Demon Denim and Laptops

I’m so excited, I just can’t stand it!!! 

For starters, tomorrow is Friday, and it’s a spirit day.  That means we can wear jeans to work!  There is something that makes a workday so much more enjoyable when you get to rock the denim… even if certain unnamed persons believe that they are the“devil’s leg tubes.” 😉

Secondly, I just ordered a new laptop!!!!  It is fully loaded, shiny, tiny, and coming in the next week, or so!  This is going to make my life so much easier!  No more blogging all cooped up in the upstairs office.  :)  I can not wait for it to come.  It’s like the P90X-citement all over again.  Except I don’t think I’ll get bored with this delivery after only a month 😉

Here it is!!!! 

 

Beautiful, right?!?!?!

I haven’t posted a recipe in a while, so I thought I’d post last night’s dinner:  Soba Noodle Stir Fry.  I adapted this recipe from March’s issue of Clean Eating Magazine.

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Ingredients:

  • 12 oz. soba noodles
  • olive oil cooking spray
  • 1 package of portabella mushrooms sliced (and/or 1 lb round steak, sliced into strips)
  • 1/2 cup red onion, chopped
  • 1 head of broccoli, chopped into bite sized pieces
  • 1 red bell pepper sliced
  • 1 yellow pepper sliced
  • 3 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
  • juice from 1 orange
  • orange zest
  • 2 tbsp. minced garlic 
  • couple squirts of honey

1) Cook noodles according to the package.

2) Heat large non-stick skillet over medium heat.  Spray with olive oil cooking spray.  If making without steak, move on to step 4.

3) If cooking steak, add slices to pan and cook until cooked through.  Remove from pan and set aside.

4) Add onions, garlic, broccoli, peppers and mushrooms.  Sauté until cooked through.

3)  Once noodles are finished, add to the skillet and mix with vegetables. 

4)  Mix soy sauce, orange juice, orange zest and honey together in a small bowl.  Pour over noodle and vegetable mixture and stir to coat. 

5) If using steak, add to the pan and combine with noodle stir fry.

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Hers & His I’m a bit of a messy cook, huh??? 

I made Larry’s noodle stir fry  in his very own meaty skillet.  Oh, what we do for love 😉

Larry has requested Parmesan Encrusted Tilapia for dinner tomorrow night, which I love to make, because it is so quick and easy.  It also means that I get to try out our new Martin’s grocery store.  I’ve heard that the prices are not too shabby!  Check back tomorrow for a review. 

Have a Fabulous Friday!!!!!

~Jen

magnolia Remember, Be Happy, Be Healthy, Be You!!!

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March Madness

And by March Madness, I do not mean the basketball tournament (although at times that did play a part).  I’m talking about how insanely busy the month of March has been.

They say March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb.  This year I don’t think the saying is referring to the weather.  I think it is referring to the month’s activity level!  I started the month off with an Arbonne Party, which was a HUGE success.  I then went out of town  2 weekends in a row: once for a visit to the White House, and once for a Bachelorette Party.  Larry and I both got an awful case of a third grade stomach bug.  I missed three days of work: one for being sick, one for the bachelorette party, and one for a Reading Olympics Competition at school.  There were cookouts and giveaways.  All in all, a very hectic month.

In February, I worked out almost every single day.  I ate healthy, clean and wholesome foods, and I felt wonderful.  This was not the case for March.  I worked out less, and ate a lot more junk than I usually do.  I also did not have enough time to write as much as I wanted.  Because on most days I was rushing, I feel that the quality of my writing also suffered.   

Part of me wants to feel guilty about the pitiful workout schedule I followed and the extra junk I ate.  But that would contradict everything I have said on this blog since I started writing in the middle of January.

Life is not one fluid stream that gently flows in one direction at a constant pace.  It is an ebb and flow.  It can sometimes rush, and it can sometimes flood.  In order to be happy and healthy, we must learn to literally go with the flow.  Life eventually mellows out, and will once again become calm and fluid.

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As March draws to a close, I vow to go with the flow to get back on track.  Since the weather is warming, and all I want to do is spend time outside, I vow to reignite my relationship with running, and to take the dogs for more frequent walks.  I vow to make time to do the things that make me happy like writing and reading.  I vow to be more careful about the foods that I put into my body.  I will not beat myself up over a few slip ups.  I vow to be happy and healthy. 

Come on April, bring those showers!  I’m ready for you (and the May flowers)!

 Goals for April:

  • Up my running mileage
  • Begin a small garden
  • Join a CSA (more on this later!)
  • Increase the frequency and quality of writing on Happy Heart, Happy Mind

How do you handle setbacks and a busy schedule?  Do you have any goals for the upcoming month???

~Jen

magnolia Remember, Be Happy, Be Healthy, Be You!!!

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Blogging-101

Sometime back in October or November, I stumbled into the world of health, fitness, and food blogging.  Instantly I was hooked.  I no longer had to wait each month for a new Shape Magazine to come in the mail (although I still do!  you know about the mail lady and me!).  This information was available to me at my finger tips daily. 

I found a few blogs that became favorites, and I kept going back for more.  I found personal trainers and certified nutritionists who were willing to share this information with  me each and every day.  This world, that is still new to me, has enriched my life in so many ways. 

I’ve learned so much about nutrition, eating clean, and about being a vegetarian.  I’ve learned new recipes and have tried new workouts.  I’ve read reviews for workout DVDs, almond butter, books, and more.

Most importantly blogging has enriched my life by providing me the opportunity to share and to be creative.

Don’t get me wrong.  I am still learning about the blogging world and how it works, but I thought I’d put together a few tips for people who are even newer to this world than me.

#1 Blog Roll

As I mentioned earlier, I found a few favorite blogs that I read every day.  In the beginning there were only two that I read regularly: The Fitnessista and Oh She Glows.  However, occasionally these girls would comment about other blogs that they read.  I also noticed that many of the girls seemed to “know” each other.  I had found a community of like-minded girls striving for common goals.   

I then started visiting these other blogs and clicking on their blog rolls.  A blog roll is a list of blogs that the blogger recommends or follows.  Each day I tried to visit a new blog by clicking on one of the links in someone’s blog roll.  Quickly, I learned that there are hundreds of sites dedicated to living a healthy lifestyle!  You can not imagine how much I have learned! 

A new blog that I just found, and can not get enough of, is Peas and Thank You!  This is written by a woman who has changed her lifestyle to lead a better example for her two adorable daughters.  At this time in my life, when the possibility of children is on the horizon (a few years, mom!), it is wonderful to find such an amazing role model for myself!  Oh, and did I mention that every time I read her posts I laugh my tush off! 

So, if you enjoy reading my very mediocre blog, please visit some of the links listed in my blog roll!  You will find many talented women sharing a wealth of information! 

#2 Subscriptions

If you find blogs that you enjoy reading, you can subscribe to receive updates as they are made.  You can do this two ways (that I know of!).  You can subscribe to receive email updates each time a blogger makes a post.  Most blogs have a subscribe button in the sidebar.   

Another way to receive updates is through an RSS feed.  When you subscribe to an RRS feed, it is added to a Common Feed List. Updated information from the feed is automatically downloaded to your computer and can be viewed in Internet Explorer and other programs.  On Happy Heart, Happy Mind I have links for both the posts and comments feeds available in the sidebar. I will say, however, the RSS feeds are not quite as pretty.   😉

Another way to keep up with your favorite blogs, is to create a Health Blog Folder under your favorites.

 

#3 Comments

There is nothing more exciting for me than to open my blog and to see that I have comments!  To me this means that there are people out there reading what I have written and they want to talk about it! 

When I first starting reading blogs I never left comments.  I’m not exactly sure why.  Part of me was afraid that someone might think that what I had to say was stupid.  Another part of me was afraid that my inbox would soon fill with SPAM and other nonsense.  However, after starting a blog, I realized that this is not the case.  By leaving a comment you are in no way committing to receive any kind of email or SPAM.  It is simply a comment.

One of the reasons I began this blog was to start a conversation about both mental and physical health.  Please feel free to leave comments any time!  I would love to hear your thoughts, comments, or suggestions!  Is there anything you would like for me to write about more often?  Less often? 

#4 Contests!

This is something I have just discovered!  Many bloggers sponsor giveaways of their favorite products.  I’ve seen givewaways for Lululemon, nut butter, tea, soups, socks, sports bags, recipe books, the works!  I’ve yet to actually win one, but that doesn’t stop me from trying!  Keep checking your favorite blogs for new giveaways…  Right now there is a tea giveaway at Confessions of a Health Nut.

Who knows?  Maybe there’ll be a giveaway on Happy Heart, Happy Mind one day!

So, there you have!  4 tidbits of info about blogs you may, or may not, have known. 

I’m off to make a salad that is seriously out of this world.  Here’s a sneak peak of the mushrooms and the meat (for Larry, of course!) that have been marinating since last night!  Check back later for the recipe!

  

Do you have a favorite blog?  If so, what makes you want to continue visiting a blog on a regular basis?  Is it the style of writing?  The information shared?  The Photography?

~Jen

magnolia Remember, Be Happy, Be Healthy, Be You!!!

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