Loving Life!

I am loving life right now!  I am all warm and cozy at my sister Lisa’s house!  There is Christmas music on, I baked apple struesel muffins, and I am chillin’ with my niece Kelly.  There is snow on the ground and family love in the air! The holiday season is in full effect!  Next, I am on my way to my sister Lana’s house to chill with her babies!  YUM!

I woke up this morning feeling well rested 🙂  I started out doing some yoga moves to combat all the overtime I have been picking up at work lately.  It can really take a toll on my body and I need to pay extra attention to my stiff bones and muscles in a kind way through yoga.  My ankle is not anywhere near ready to do high impact cardio so I had to modify my workout again this morning.  I am going to drive to the gym on Thursday and get in the pool and do some laps freestyle with a pull buoy.  This way I am getting my cardio in but not putting any pressure on my ankle.  Plus it is a GREAT WAY to get your upper body workout in!

image from:  tri-coaching.co.uk
image from: tri-coaching.co.uk

I have always admired swimmers. (This paragraph is in blue for swimming!  LOL) Unfortunately I cannot seem to get my breathing down!  It is completely and totally opposite from how I breathe when I run.  When I run, I usually breathe in through my nose and out through my mouth. Swimming ALWAYS screws me up because now I have to breathe in through my mouth in a split second and blow bubbles out through my nose.  It generally takes me a 1/2 hour to get some sort of sub-par rhythm…lol! I took an advance swim class in San Francisco and I loved it!  It pushed my so hard and by the end of the class I was doing the butterfly and breast stroke decently!  I’d love to take another class here but that will have to wait a bit.  Plus my climbing improved dramatically as well!  

This Sunday I am leading another training session with The Hopeless Wanderers and I am really excited to show and explain some great exercises that will really help with enhancing the muscles one uses while backpacking!  It is suppose to be 54 degrees and a little rainy on Sunday.  54 degrees!  Right now it is 18 degrees and feels like -2!  Ya gotta love Cleveland!  The first training session was a total success and people requested another one so I am excited to have motivated some people!  Yay!!!

First training session!  They loved it!
First training session! They loved it!

Well I am signing off for now!  I hope you all have an amazing day!


“Give what you have, to someone it may be better than you dare to think.”

~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Sweet and funny old guys and my small home gym part DUE (that’s 2 in italian)

So I am sitting here in my local McDonald’s…(they have great coffee, I don’t eat the food…sorry) and there are a bunch of old timers here drinking coffee, reading the newspaper and shooting the breeze.  They are talking about going hunting this weekend and one man says to another, “What are you hunting this weekend?”  The other man replies, “Women!”  I laughed so hard that they looked over at me and apologized.  I said to them,” This is what I love about people.  The candid and funny conversations you overhear!”  Then a different guy asked what “spooning” was.  He thought it was some kind of new drug people were doing.  A guy in the little gang looked up and said, “Are you serious?  It’s when you lay on your side in a ‘c-shape’ and spoon your partner.”  Hahahahaha!!!!  They are the sweetest guys… and they were kind and sweet enough to let me take their picture 😀

Fun, sweet old timers :)
Fun, sweet old timers 🙂

Back to the home gym part due (pronounced “dew-eh”.)  I am one of those people who LOVE the benefits of yoga.  I love feeling peaceful, strong and quite frankly my darn spine feels aligned!  BUT….. it’s getting me to yoga that is the problem.  When I lived in Venice, CA I would hop on my beach cruiser with my yoga mat in my basket and peddle down to YogaWorks on Main St.  It was easier for me then for a few reasons.

  1. Yoga studios are EVERYWHERE in L.A.
  2. Since there are so many studios, the prices are competitive which means cheap!
  3. You could go to a class any time of day!  Even at midnight!   So the accessibility was amazing!

(I once did yoga on a rooftop in Venice on the beach at night and it was my favorite experience with yoga!)

I have always been a “sweaty workout” kind of person.  Holding positions and trying to breathe at the same time doesn’t come naturally to me.  I can run for an hour straight at a good pace just breathing in and out through my nose!  Not so much doing yoga 😦  So, I decided to take what I  learned from the various yogis in L.A. and do some yoga at home.  I love it!!  And with YouTube, you have a yoga class at your beck and call!  I even do yoga at work.  I am on my feet 12 hours a day and about 8 hours into my shift I go find a place where I can lay down a blanket, close the door and do a few quick yoga poses.  OH MY STARS I can’t tell you how much that rejuvenated not only my muscles but my mind as well!  It is a “little reset” button that gets me through the rest of my shift.  I haven’t been able to convince my co-workers to join me yet but I’m wearing them down!

My "yoga studio" at work!  Lol....
My “yoga studio” at work! Lol….

Once in a blue moon I will go to a yoga class to make sure my positioning is correct and to see what is new and then go home and incorporate what I have learned.  The equipment I have…

  1. Yoga mat (the sticky kind)
  2. Yoga block (for positions that I am not quite flexible enough for yet)
  3. Yoga strap.  Dude… you can totally use a belt or a scarf.

It is that simple and totally cheap!  And when you are at home you don’t have to worry about a possible wardrobe malfunction.  You’re in the privacy of your own home. Normally I am in my lounge wear.  I don’t buy into fancy yoga clothing or fancy workout clothing.  I do have a few pieces of performance athletic wear, but I just wear what I have and save a TON of $$$$$ as a result!  K.I.S.S. = Keep It Simple Stupid.

So you don’t have to spend a bunch of money… sure some exercise equipment is an investment but over time it all pays itself off.

Hope you have an amazing Thursday!  My good friend Shannon is in town from Oregon and I am so excited to spend time with her!!!

Part tre to come….


“Give what you have, to someone it may be better than you dare to think.”

~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


My small home gym part UNO :D

Good morning….LOL… I laugh because I am running on about 3.5 hours of sleep!  (Right now I’m listening to the Jay-Z Pandora radio station to keep me awake! HA!)

So I want to share a few FUN ways I exercise when I tire of my usual routine.  Have an arsenal at my disposal.

My small but FUN home gym!
My small but FUN home gym!

It is a small home gym but there is a TON packed into that small space!  From left to right, my bouldering pad, backpack, yoga mat and block, hand weights,  climbing shoes and harness, skateboard (Sector 9 longboard) and last but not least the most versatile piece of equipment on the planet…my treadmill!

You don’t need a ton of fancy equipment to be active.  Oh wait I forgot my FAVORITE exercise piece….

my running shoes..
my running shoes..

Running is my first love.  More than anything or anyone, when I am having a good day, bad day or whatever kind of day, my running shoes are there for me.  They are without a doubt my go to stress reliever, happy place and my gap!  I have been running since my parents put me, my brother and older sister in cross country in elementary school.  I don’t run for time really any more and I don’t have a desire to run a marathon.  I don’t need a 26.2 sticker on my car.  I run because that is who I am.  Running is where I go to recenter myself and clear out my thoughts.  I get high.. every single time!

Ok ok ok….back to the rest of the small home gym equipment.  My bouldering pad, a.k.a. crash pad.  I climb big rocks or boulders outside.  Bouldering is when you climb short but good size boulders without being harnessed in.  Without a rope.  There is a great park on the westside of Cleveland and I like to get there early in the morning before the neighborhood wakes up.  😀

I’m sure most of you have climbed trees as a kid!  Well now I climb rocks and trees!  Hahaha!  But seriously bouldering is great because you can do it solo.  I would always recommend going with a friend because if something happens there is someone to call for help!  Buddy system…(most of the time I go alone but I ALWAYS let someone know where I am!)  All you need to get started is a chalk bag, for when you hands get sweaty, and a crash pad for when you can quite make that next hold… 😉  The other great thing about bouldering is that you don’t have to be a “climber.”  Anyone can do it!  You may not do it well at first and your hands and most likely your legs WILL get scraped up!  But you just climb as far as you can until you build up the strength and confidence to climb a little higher each time.  Also if you have a fear of heights then this is perfect if you don’t want to be on the big walls because you will really never be that high up to the point where you couldn’t jump down!

Holy guacamole look at the time!   I have to jet for now but I will be back to chat about the rest of my small home gym!

I hope you guys all have an amazing morning….AND DON’T FORGET TO VOTE!!!!!

Until  a little bit later…


“Give what you have, to someone it may be better than you dare to think.”

~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Squats, dead lifts and lots o’core!

What an sweet morning so far!  I spent the night at my older sister’s home so I could sleep over with her 3 amazing children!  I woke them up at 6:00am this morning so I could scoot them on the bus and off to school.  (yes…I fed them…lol)  I love hanging with them!  I call them my little crazies 😉    I also get a little teary eyed when they get on the bus…I think it’s because I was out in California for 6 years and missed them like crazy.  I am soooo happy to be back home in Cleveland  😀  I know I talk a lot about loving Cleveland, its just that it has so much to offer.  A lot of the time when I was out west people would say to me, “Oh…Cleveland.”  I would tell them that unless you’ve been there with someone who is from there, then you don’t know what you are missing.  Between the parks, museums, theatre district, pretty much all major sports teams (sorry soccer fans), lake front, different unique neighborhoods and the westside market, etc.  there is NO shortage of fun and great things to do!

Okay, enough about my love of my town 🙂

About 2 minutes after I woke up I felt it…. the crazy good hurt that could only come from squats and lunges.  DUDE…!!!  I took my younger sister’s older daughter on a walk yesterday afternoon and as I was pushing her along in her Little Tykes car, I decided to make this sloooow moving opportunity into a fitness one!  So I did a bunch of lunges!  I am SURE I looked like a total weirdo but who cares?!  I got my leg workout on!  Later in the evening I did about 20 squats as I was waiting for some pictures to download from my phone to my computer.  Like this one I took yesterday.  I was driving “along in my automobile…bum bum bum di bum…” lol and I came across this field!  So beautiful!

Field of sunflowers :D
Field of sunflowers 😀

The rest of my day looks will consist of the gym, studying and maybe a little bit of relocation hunting!  I am also going to devise a training session for my friend who is coming over tomorrow morning for her (and my) first personal training “in-training” session.  Today at the gym I am going to focus on my core and upper body.  I’m going to try some new moves that I hope will target muscle groups that tend to get left behind.  Not really muscle groups…  The other day my friend Jeff and I were at CRG (Cleveland Rock Gym) climbing for the first time in months.  We were sore for the next 3-4 days.  My gym doesn’t have a climbing wall so I am going to try and simulate some climbing moves at the regular gym.

Climbing uses the every single muscle in your body!  And I mean in ways you never thought possible and in ways you’ll most likely never obtain at the gym.  Just ask my friend Jeff who is a gym rat and he’ll tell just how totally sore he was for several days post climbing!

Well I am off for now!  Catch ya later!


“Give what  you have, to someone it may be better than you dare to think.”

~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Waking up on the last warm day of autumn..

What’s going on everyone?!  Today was nothing short of AWESOME!  I woke up this morning to a warm breeze flowing through my windows…how awesome is that for late October?!  I also had an easy breezy morning that started off with a great cup of coffee.  Have any of you tried Starbucks Via?  I love those little packets!  I ran out of ground coffee and haven’t been to the market in a couple of weeks so I resorted to the little packets I had in my cupboard.  I usually take them backpacking with me, as regular instant coffee is just plain gross!

Image from www.graphics.com
Image from http://www.graphics.com

They also offer instant lattes but I am not a fan of those.  While I was enjoying my cafe I was catching up with one of my very best friends, Allison.  We’ve been friends for quite sometime now but it seems the older we get the busier we are and the harder it is to get together in person and catch up!  So this morning we caught up over her morning drive to work and me having coffee on my back porch 😀  I hopped on the treadmill post awesome coffee conversation and started running.  I know a lot of people get bored on the treadmill.  For me, I get that runners’ high anywhere, anytime I’m running.  I just zone out and keep going until my body says, “Um dude, we’re done.”  I started out at a 8:57/mile pace.  Not too bad after working 6 days straight.  I never put the emergency clip on me but for some reason I did today.  Big mistake!  Right in the middle of my run it pulled off from the consul and my treadmill came to a sudden STOP!  I hate when that happens!  I guess it is a good thing it did because when I looked at the clock I saw that I was going to be late for a meeting at work if I didn’t get my butt in gear!  So I “freshened” up (tried to be less smelly) and drove to the hospital for meeting.  Then it was more coffee with one of my other very best friends Patty!

Odd angle I know!  Friends for 22 years!
Odd angle I know! Friends for 22 years!

I am in the middle of studying for my NASM personal training certification.  As I was studying I thought to myself,  “I need to practice these things with a real person and not just online.”  Guess what?!!!  I have my first client!  Of course she isn’t a real client because I am not certified yet.  Also, she is one of my very best friends!  It is like massage therapy students.  They can’t charge you full price because they aren’t certified but they need the practice and the hours!  So instead of charging my friend money, I get to practice on her and she is paying me with what????  COFFEE!!!!  On the days we train she offered to buy my soy lattes!  And it is PSL (pumpkin spice latte) season!!!! YUM!

Image from www.coachsara.com
Image from http://www.coachsara.com

Continue reading “Waking up on the last warm day of autumn..”

Messages and more stairs ;)

Ciao tutti!  (Hello everyone!)

I want to start today’s post about messages.  Not voicemail, email or text messages but messages that come to us in totally unexpected ways that answer the tough questions we may be contemplating.   So over the past several days I have been seriously contemplating putting something off because I feel that I want to take my career in a different direction.  I’ve been thinking a ton about it and while I was at work I felt as if my question was answered.  I don’t know if I like the answer but I’m just going to roll with it. 😀


I was sitting with someone who needed an ear to listen and a calm presence (that’d be me!) to soothe their mind.  In talking with this person and with no poking or prodding from them I feel that my answer came in loud and clear.  Now I had just met this person and they had absolutely no idea what has been on my mind. BUT… it was as if they did!   Now do you believe in coincidence?  I don’t really….hmmmmm….just more to contemplate now!

In other news…!   I work really long hours and when I’m at work I need to find a way to de-stress and get some exercise in.   I try to find a quiet room to sit in to meditate for 10-15 minutes or maybe do a few quick yoga poses.  But when I need to get my heart rate pumping I turn to the stairs!!!  I know you may be thinking I have a weird fascination for stairs but I don’t!  I promise.  But stairs are everywhere and they work your lower body extremely well. We aren’t suppose to have our phones on us at work but I sneak mine to play for my mini workout.  I take the elevator down to the basement, throw on some B.O.B., Jay-Z or Katy Perry and then climb 11 flights back up to the floor I work on.  I do that a couple of times a day at work.  If you ever feel sluggish at work and need to get your blood going stairs are the answer my friends!  Plus it releases enough endorphins to get you through the rest of your work day!

Now I’m off to bed after a 15 hour day!  Glad I got to spend my evening talking to you 😀

Tell me though… Do you believe in signs?


“Give what you have.  To someone it may be better than you dare to think.”

Henry Wadsworth Longfelllow

Spas, parks and babies = relaxation and love

Holy awesome Sunday Batman!

Great morning to all you out there!  I am excited to share my Sunday with you so let’s go!  🙂

Yesterday morning I made the decision to start this blog.  I was inspired by an awesome blogger Julie from Peanut Butter Fingers at www.pbfingers.com.  Her blog always puts me in a better mood with her tales from everyday life.  Plus her and her husband have a crazy cute dog named Sadie that she frequents in her blog.  So thanks Julie for being awesome at what you do!

Secondly, nothing in the world makes me happier than to be outside.  But first I went inside…to the hot tub and sauna.  Hmmmm….relaxation.  The place that I work at has an amazing gym that offers everything you’d ever want to do.  I kept telling myself that I should soothe my sore muscles with a soak in the hot tub and a session in the sauna.  My little piece of advice….maaaybe just do one or the other.   😉   I am not capable of being in a hot tub too long for two reasons… 1.  boredom and 2. They can be too hot!  And going from the hot tub to the sauna was tooo much even with the 24 ounces of water I had on hand to stay hydrated.  😦   Normally I can stay in the sauna for a good 30 minutes but today I lasted 3 minutes and got the heck out of there.

Now for the great outdoors!  I went on a hike/jog today with my friend Chris.  The weather was sunny and crisp and the leaves are changing rapidly here in Northern Ohio.  There are these huge set of stairs by the nature center at one of the many local Cleveland Metroparks.  I usually do 10-15 climbs 2-3 times a week.  It hurts but it’s a good hurt I promise!

Around 134 stairs.  Kind of looks like a giant bug coming your way!
Around 134 stairs. Kind of looks like a giant bug coming your way!
Golden leaves :)
Golden leaves 🙂

I basically grew up in these parks and could hike them everyday and never tire of them because there seems to be new trails that I rediscover every so often.  In fact my friend Chris goes here a lot too and I showed him a trail that he’s never been on.  I lived in Southern and Northern California for about 6 years and I really missed the Cleveland Metroparks even though I had access to all the GREAT parks in California.  I missed the big shades trees, watching the sun filter through the canopy, getting rained on by the morning dew that falls from the leaves while I am out running.   I heart Cleveland!!!  So after an amazing hike/jog in the park with a good friend I headed back indoors to….

My niece and nephew...TWINS...so much love!
My niece and nephew…TWINS…so much love!

The TWO newest additions to my plethora of nieces and nephews.  I now have nine of them!  No shortage of kids in this family which means no shortage of love!  My amazing sister and her sweet husband welcomed these two little beautiful humans into the world on 10/3/14.  They are the cutest little buggers and I could not resist holding them for hours on end today 😀  My mom and I were there Sunday while my sister rested and took a nap and her husband spent some quality one on one time with their other adorable child, a  22 month old daughter.  I am a newborn natural.  I nannied in California for a while and newborns were my specialty.  When I have a newborn in my arms it seems as if bombs could drop all around me and I would still be in a complete state of bliss.

What a fun, amazing, beautiful and happy Sunday!  I hope you are all having a great start to your week!

Feel free to comment below and share your happy weekend stories with me!  I’d love to hear them 😀

Live well,


“Give what  you have.  To someone it may be better than you dare to think.”

~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow