Thursday, May 23, 2013

A Garden Tour and Annual Planting Ideas

My father's garden is without a doubt one of my favorite places. 
 
As a child, I can remember helping haul wheel barrel after wheel barrel of mulch from the spot in the front yard where an entire truck load was dumped to the backyard where the garden was just beginning.  It was hard work, and I am sure my parent's (and now Dad & Kim) did the bulk of it, but I will still take pride in that beautiful landscape.
 
One summer, my father decided he wanted a new water feature with a rock bed around it for room to sit and put a bonfire.  About 3/4ths of the way through carefully lifting up sod from this location and saving it to put in bare spots around the yard, a neighbor came by.  He let us know there was a machine that would do that for you.  I was dirty, sweaty and speechless...did my dad know this, and was he just torturing me!  We didn't get the machine, we finished by hand, even wheel barreling the rocks down ourselves.  Now I must say, it is one of the designs for which I can take a lot of pride! 
 
The back yard has had many updates throughout the years, and each member of our family has put in a significant amount of work along with the help of friends and a few paid workers.  I love this place, and I want to give you a glimpse as well.
 
First, I want to share with you something new that my father and his girlfriend have put in this year.  It's in-ground containers filled with rich soil for annuals.  They dug and placed these throughout the rock beds for easy landscaping, this way next year, all they have to do is dig out the plant, put in a new one, no need to move around rocks or wonder where the design might look best.  It stays in place & it look lovely, crisp, and clean!
 
 
  
 And off to a picture tour

What I woke up to every morning!
 

Newest addition, Dad & Kim cleaned this side up and put in a lovely walking path
Garden view from the dock
Location where I wanted to get married...thanks for shooting that one down Dad.  His excuse, we didn't have enough restrooms...lo & behold, the location we chose had less than his house...but I'm not bitter ;)
 
Homemade pond fills with lily pads in the summer
 
Homemade waterfall from the pond to the lake
 

Garden overview from the pond looking to the lake
 
Dad used old candle sticks as potting designs in the garden
 
A vegetable garden!
Garden d├ęcor
 
  

Hen & Chicks, my favorite succulent grows throughout the larger rock beds

If you have never touched Lambs Ear, you have to!  It's my favorite plant, and the 'leaves' are so soft!
 
In my perfect world, every great night ends with a bonfire!
 
Dad & Kim!
Question of the day:  Do you have a favorite location at your parents home?  Is it a room, a park across the street, a hideaway you made in the attic? (yes, I def had that!) 

Monday, May 20, 2013

Vacation Preparation!

I am beyond excited and feel so blessed to be able to go to the beach with two of our very best friends, Bob & Natasha!
 
Our first Alpha Chi Omega Formal! That's from 2006 (my 'freshman 15' days!)
 
 
We leave for Cancun on Saturday and get to spend 6 days with them, lounging around the pool, drinking Mexican beer & cocktails, enjoying all you can eat buffets, and forgetting about work!
 
Well, that all sounds good, but I don't want to fall completely off my healthy habits.  Last time I went to an all-inclusive resort like this was on our honeymoon!  However, I was completely out of commission for an ENTIRE day due to heartburn from the food and drinks.  This time, I'm going to do things a little differently!
On our honeymoon at Kimono's (Sandal's St. Lucia resort)

During our honeymoon, I hadn't yet been diagnosed with Eosinphillic Esophogitis, so little did I know that the mounds of salsa, spicy foods, coconut enhanced drinks, and just general consumption of food & alcohol were making my throat break out in a similar fashion as a rash one might get on their face, arm, etc from a food allergy.
An adventure tour in St. Lucia that ended at a waterfall!
 
This time around, I am going to prepare myself by indulging with at least a bite or two of my favorites.  You better believe that I will NOT turn down a cheesecake!  I will just share it with our group, or have only what I can eat without bursting out of my cute little outfits!  I plan on maintaining clean eating by filling my plates up with fruits in the morning and veggies throughout the day.

 
Also in preparation for the trip, I am doing the Tone It Up 5 Day Slimdown!  This is a mini version of the Tone it Up 7 Day Slimdown, both are provided after purchasing the Tone it Up Nutrition plan.  Your trainers & nutritionists, Karena & Katrina, provide practical recipes, guidance, and nutritional information to keep you going through their slim down plans & healthy living through well balanced meals. 
 
I am not trying to lose weight, rather I am doing the 5DSD to get myself balanced and cleansed, ready to hit the beach running (or snorkeling!).  Here's a little snip of this morning's 5 Day Slimdown Start of Bombshell Spell, Slim Down Scramble and my dogs after our AM Workout!
 
While on vacation, I'll stay active snorkeling, swimming, hopefully doing a yoga class on the beach (still haven't found out if the resort has that), and maybe visiting the on resort gym if I'm feeling the need to pick up some weights and drop some sweat.  Mostly, I am going to relax and have fun with our wonderful friends & my amazing husband!

6 more days, and I can hardly wait! 

Pirate Party with Natasha, Neal, Myself, Laura & Bob! 
You better believe this will be a wild trip!
Question of the Day:  What's your favorite vacation you've gotten to take with friends?

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

May 2013 Workouts

Backtrack to April
On April 6th, I ran the Southern Indiana Classic Half Marathon in 1:45:36 (yes, that's 1 hour and 45 min!).  I did amazing in the race and took home 1st place in my age group!  At first, we thought I had gotten 2nd in my age group, but the woman who beat me actually placed 3rd overall, so that bumped me to first!  Woot woot!

After the 1/2 marathon, my knees were sore, but I felt pretty freaking awesome.  I iced them and had already planned on taking the week off.

I was supposed to run the USI Spring into Fitness10K the next Saturday, one week after the race, but when I went to do a test jog after taking the week off on Friday night, my foot screamed in pain.  Or maybe that was me screaming that my foot was in pain? :)  I knew something was wrong and I shouldn't risk running in the race the next day.  Needless to say, I went and picked up my t-shirt anyways.  Yes, I am obsessed with race shirts and awards.  It still makes me sad that I didn't run, because I really think I could have placed if I was 100%, and that would mean I would have placed in all 3 USI Running Series Races.
My foot continued to be in pain, so I finally called my family doctor to ask if I needed to be seen.  He scheduled me an appointment.  At that appointment (18 days after the race), he told me that he believed I had a 5th metatarsal stress fracture and that we would first have to take an X-ray, which he didn't think would show results.  He said we had to do the x-ray first for insurance purposes and just in case it did show something more serious. After an x-ray, he said we could do an MRI.  I am too practical.  If it feels like a stress fracture, then it probably is a stress fracture.  The x-ray results, like he suspected, didn't show anything, and I wasn't about to pay for an MRI.  My doctor said that was fine and put me in a walking shoe. 

 
For the last 6 days of April, I didn't work out much.  I had my craft fair where I stood for long periods of time, and that was about it, until the TIU Bikini Series came along!
 
Monday, April 29
  • Biker Babes, I did a mini version of this outdoor with my hubby!


Tuesday, April 30
  • 3 rounds of the Sun Seeker Workout, and my foot start to hurt badly again.  


Onto May

May 1-5
  • My foot hasn't been feeling so great.
  • We have been painting our new rental home every day after work, so that's my exercise
Monday, May 6th
  • AM Workout = Itty Bitty from TIU, one of Karena's arm workouts, and some of Katrina's deadlifts to work on that booty
  • Deadlifts throughout the day when I passed by the weights (about 5 total sets!)
  • PM Workout = Painting the rental house!

 Tuesday, May 7th
  • Painting the house again
  • PM Workout = at the gym with Neal doing some back and bicep weight training moves
    • Wide Grip Front Pull Ups, 3 sets
    • Regular Pull Ups, 3 sets
    • Weighted Row, 3 sets
    • Some back machine I hadn't used before that targeted all the muscles back there! 3 sets
    • Machine bicep curls, 2 sets
    • Cohen bicep curls, 1 set
    • Incline bicep curls, 1 set
Wednesday, May 8th
Thursday, May 9th
  • PM Biker Babes workout - so fun!
 
Saturday, May 11
  • Grab a Friend and Go Workout from Tone it Up!  I was at my dad's house for the weekend, so he got to be my workout buddy!
 
Wednesday, May 15th
  • BCWO was 3 Tone It Up routines! 2xs Sunkiss Abs, the new Bridal Babe workout, & Surfer Girl from TIU Beach Babe DVD
 
Thursday, May 16th
  • BCWO = 3 Rounds of Surfer's Paradise and 2 Rounds of Cowabunga!
Monday, May 17th
  • Morning walk with the puppies - 30 mins.  1st day of the Beach Babe 5 Day Slimdown!  I didn't do my HIIT this morning b/c I really just wanted to walk the dogs.