Saturday, July 27, 2013

A Real Jeep Adventure Begins Tomorrow!

I'm all packed - homemade bug spray, hiking boots, sleeping bag and the most important piece of equipment - a bear bell!  I'm heading to Boy Scout Camp with my oldest son.  I volunteered to be a chaperone a couple of months back. I think I was a little insane at that moment.

I'm excited and nervous all at the same time.  It will be nice to get away and chill for a week.  No cooking, cleaning or picking up after my kids.  But - I'm told there is a resident mama bear with cubs who likes human food a lot! Plus not to mention the raccoons.  AND I will be sleeping in a tent with a city of spiders. Then finally -the group I'm going with are 29 middle & high school boys. 

I will be taking lots of pictures, but I'm not sure of the internet connection.  So, I could be off line for about a week.

In the meantime, I would like to share with you my new found hobby - Taking pictures of random Jeeps while I'm cruising around in my Jeep.  ENJOY!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Calgon Take Me Away Moment equals a Jeep Ride - Top 10 songs Needed

You know the old commercial - "Calgon Take Me Away", it's meant for a relaxing getaway from the stress in your life.  Well, I found a new replacement - Riding in my Jeep.

Here's what you need... 

--A beautiful day like today.

--Soft top down.
--Windows rolled down.

--Fresh air - a bonus: when you smell the fresh cut grass or BBQ cooking.
--And the music cranked real loud so when you sing the lyrics - out loud - no one can hear you.

To do that last one, you need music.  Here's my list of Top Ten Songs needed for driving in your Jeep with your top down.
10. I Want You To Want Me - Cheap Trick
In 7th grade this was my favorite song because the 16 year old boy I had a crush on used to listen to it fixing his car with no shirt on.  It was my first intro to "hard" rock. It hooked me for life. (I've never told anyone that before.) 
9. Rock and Roll Band - Boston
8. I Gotta Feeling - Black Eyed Peas
7. tie  Smells Like Teen Spirit - Nirvana
7. tie  Basket Case - Green Day
7. tie Boulevard of Broken Dreams - Green Day
6. She's So Mean - Matchbox Twenty
5. 3am - Matchbox Twenty
4. Right Now - SR-71
3. 21 Guns - Green Day 
2. When I'm Gone - 3 Door Down
1. You Shook Me All Night Long - AC/DC

  I went out five times today running here and there.  I enjoyed myself so much I went to the grocery store - twice. It seems I will be needing groceries a lot this summer.  It looks like I will need more than ten songs... so I need to add to my Top Ten Songs.  I will take requests and try out your suggestions.  They may even replace a current Top Ten.

Back on the Road (BotR) for my Next Adventure!
Happy Trails!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Gettin" My Jeep On!

When I think of a Jeep, I think of adventure, the outdoors, physical activity, healthy, energetic, vibrant, exciting and total fun!  To be a Jeep owner I think you need to live up to those standards. And how do you do that... Well in my book - I'm calling it, Gettin' your Jeep On!  So I've started working on my Getting' My Jeep On plan.

My first step is to step up my current plan to live a more healthy life with healthy organic foods, and lots of exercise - exercise that a 40 something mom needs to be doing. 

Plus, not only being physically healthy, but mentally healthy too. Mentally healthy to me is surrounding myself with fun friends who share the same interests and enthusiasm, shedding my OCD compulsions, and to quit worry about the little things so much.   

I've spent the past 14 years dedicating my time to my two boys, my family and volunteering...lots of volunteering.  That left me little time to focus on my physical and mental health.  Well --  a women in her 40's can't afford to neglect her physical health.

About two years ago I noticed things didn't come too easily - like maintaining my weight.  I'm wasn't able to eat the same foods as I once did.  I tried many, many diets. I could never get past the five pound mark.  It wasn't until I read Suzanne Somers book Sexy Forever that things began to change.  I started her diet, and within three months I shed 20 pounds, and felt whole lot better.  However, this diet, like any other, really needs to be a lifestyle change.  While I continue to implement a lot of her diet steps, I have a hard time maintaining all of them. It's really hard when you have kids, who are picky eaters.  It can also get quite expensive because it's an organic diet. 

Now a year later, I'm eating better, but not totally the Sexy Forever way. And again I'm finding it hard to shed the extra weight. So, I've started working out at the local gym, and running in the neighborhood.

 Getting up in the morning to go the gym can be difficult.  But when I know what's waiting for me in the garage -then it's not so hard. My Jeep is my motivator. 

I hadn't realized how much I missed lifting weights and exercising.  It can be uplifting and puts you in a good mood. But just running and lifting weights still didn't seem to be enough.  Nothing was coming off. 

 So the research and experimentation has begun. I found an exercise plan that is suppose to help women just like me.  In their 40's not liking the extra fat and cellulite. I've taken some before pictures (YIKES!)...  now we will see how it goes  - and if I need the after pictures.  I hope so!  I'm not ready to share those before shots yet. I might ruin someone's dinner tonight - Bahaha. I will keep you posted on how this new exercise plan works, or doesn't work.
So... Gettin' My Jeep On Plan Checklist

 ...Adventure whitewater was just the beginning
...the outdoors more camping to come
 ...physical activity CHECK!
...healthy CHECK!
...energetic Gettin' there
...vibrant - pulsing with energy Hmm?
 ...exciting - Leo's are always exciting! :-D 
total fun again Leo's are total fun!

Monday, July 22, 2013

My Jeep Saves the Day - Game Stop Trade in Day

This weekend had to be one of the hottest and most humid weekends on record this summer.  The heat seemed to affect my kids too.  They were bickering non-stop Saturday morning - driving me crazy.  Wait a minute... They're always bickering.

It was way too hot to get them outside, and it was even too hot to go to the pool.  My only option -- take a ride in the Jeep. The AC in the Jeep is phenomenal!  Keeps even a mom with hot flashes cool.

But where to go. The heat was horrendous.  I had to think of something that they would have to work together, and bond on.  So... I came up with Game Stop Trade In day. What a prefect idea.  They worked as a team to come up with games and a game system they no longer used and we headed out. 

After the trade in -- $98 richer, they ended up buying three new games and getting a $20 gift card.  They both compromised, and both were able to get the games they wanted. Ahh!  Peace among brothers.

So we headed for home in the cool confines of my favorite place to be.
I was hopeful the Peace Among Brothers lasted through the day.  It did... Even into the next day...  ALL day.  They worked together to build Helm's Deep with Legos. Gotta Love my new Jeep. Is it still new after two months?

Friday, July 19, 2013

The Jeep Wave - Husband's driving privelages revoked

My wrist is a little achy this evening.  I went to pick up my son from sleep-away paintball camp.  It's about a four hour drive, there and back. I think I must of waved over 100 times.  There were a lot of Jeeps on the road today.

If you don't own a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, Sport, Rubicon, etc. you may not get this. So, here's a little info I found on the internet I thought I would share.

The Jeep Wave: An honor bestowed upon those drivers with the superior intelligence, taste, class, and discomfort tolerance to own the ultimate vehicle - the Jeep. Generally, when two jeep wranglers pass each other on opposite sides of the road, one of the drivers initiates the wave and the other waves back: a symbolism of a bondage between jeep owners. The wave may be modified to suit circumstances and locally accepted etiquette.
The Jeep Wave Origin: Some say the Jeep wave began after the war, when the soldiers returned home. During the war the Jeep had earned a place in the hearts of many soldiers, and as a result, many of those who made it home, wanted to own their own Jeep. Often the drivers of Jeeps passing on roadways would wave at each other, as they knew most likely each other had served.

Finally, some claim the wave began when civilians started buying Jeeps and taking them off road. The shared fun and excitement of tackling seemingly impossible trails and obstacles in the nimble Jeep, naturally builds a kinship with other Jeepers. The wave acknowledges that shared understanding and appreciation of the Jeep's amazing capabilities and the enjoyment ownership can bring.
Needless to say there are a lot of "Jeepers" out there who share the same enthusiasm of their Jeep as I do.  Unfortunately, my husband doesn't get it. Last night, I revoked his privileges to drive the Jeep.  He completely failed in his understanding, and appreciation of being allowed to drive the Jeep.  He would not reciprocate or even initiate The Jeep Wave. Then he proceeded to make fun of The Jeep Wave.
In all seriousness, I feel honored to be part of such a tight-knit community.  It is definitely a unique experience to share such camaraderie with a group of complete strangers. Unless you own or have ever owned a Jeep Wrangler you most likely wouldn't understand. My Jeep makes me smile, makes me enjoy running errands and makes me want to enjoy life to the fullest.    

Thursday, July 18, 2013

My Jeep Makes Midlife all better!

I'm a stay at home mom in my late 40's - having left my career in television news almost 14 years ago to take care of my son.  Now, both my boys are getting older, and don't seem to need me as much. Television news has passed me by in this new age of technology. Lately I've been struggling with where I am in life -- not feeling I'm putting in my fair share for the family. I get a little down sometimes trying to figure it all out... what do I do now.

Well today... It was time to take all the windows off my Jeep.

Roll them up in my new Window Roll.

You don't want to fold the vinyl windows, you know. 

The felt fabric roll protects the windows from scratches and creases.

It rolls up easy. 

And goes into a storage sleeve you can hook up right to the soft top.


Then it was time to fold the soft top all the way down with a little help from my husband.

Then off the to pool with my youngest for an afternoon of relaxation and pizza for dinner.  Nothing beats spending time with my kids.

A little time in my Jeep with the top down -- looking up into the blue sky helps put everything back into perspective. Life is to short on this planet -- I need to cherish the time I have with my children and savor every moment with them -- and my new Jeep ;)

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

My Jeep Brings me Good Luck!

I have played laser tag with my boys many, many times over the years.  I have always been one of the last place finishers.  No matter how hard I tried, I always seemed to finish at the bottom.

About a month after buying my Jeep, we took the boys to go play laser tag.  When you play laser tag you need to have a "code name" or nickname.  I always just played as "mom".  Not this time, my "code name" was Jeep Girl. Well - guess who came in 1st place? Yep, I said 1st Place.  I even beat my teenage son who always wins. Ha!

Jeep Girl Rocks!

I attribute my 1st place win to my new Jeep.  It brought me Jeep Luck!  Jeeps are awesome - therefore Jeep owners are awesome -- therefore Jeep Owners play awesome!

Monday, July 15, 2013

I Never Want to Leave Home without My Jeep!

My teenage son asked if I would go with him and his Boy Scout Troop camping and whitewater rafting.  I was shocked that he would want to hang out with me. (Personally, I think my cool factor elevated considerably since I got my Jeep) I agreed to go, even though the thought of getting into a raft, that I could potentially fall out of into a river, scared me to death.  But - I went anyway.  We went over class 3 and 4 rapids.  It was an absolute blast!  I can't wait to go again.

Everyone had a great time rafting and camping.  The food we cooked over the fire was very yummy!

The only thing lacking was -- I left my Jeep at home, and rode with another mom. NEVER - EVER again!  I can't believe I left my Jeep at home.  It was very disheartening not being able to be a part of the Jeep Club on the way up to the campsite.  I saw Jeeps everywhere. My urge to wave at them all was huge, but I couldn't - because I wasn't in my Jeep. Even when we got to the rafting site there were Jeeps everywhere in the parking lot. 

 I wanted to scream to everyone that I was a Jeep owner too! But again I had to remain calm.  Next time I go, I will be joining the Jeep Club and I won't leave home - without My Jeep!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Getting Groceries in My Jeep!

Before the Jeep I would hate to go grocery shopping.  Now that I have my Jeep, I look forward to it.  Everything just seems more fun! When I come walking out of the grocery store, and I see my Jeep, I get a big smile on my face and I say to myself, "Hey, that's my Jeep isn't it awesome!" Sometimes as I'm heading into the grocery store, I sneak a peek by turning around to get a look at my Jeep. I can never get enough peeks.  It looks so good sitting in the parking lot!

BTJ, I would have to take the time to put down the back seats to fit all my groceries in the car. Sometimes that would be too much work, so I would just set the groceries in the back seat. Something inevitably would fall on the floor as I was driving. Well - not in my Jeep.  Everything fit in the back just fine, and I didn't even have to put any seats down.

Things definitely got a lot better with my Jeep, some things stay the same though.  My boys still argue and bicker in the back seat. And of course they never want their picture taken. 

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Running Errands and Playing Hookey In My Jeep

The first day home from vacation is usually always difficult.  But, not when you are coming home to your Jeep after being gone for 8 days.  I was relieved to see my Jeep Wrangler Unlimited sitting in the garage, where I left it, and was very excited to get back behind the wheel.

The first day back from a vacation for me is spent running errands, and today was no different.  First, it was off to swim practice with my youngest.

Then to the vet. Our dog, Sterling, was crying all night.  Turns out she has "swimmers ear", and she's not even on the swim team.

In the olden days, when I had a mini-van or my crossover, I was involved in many car pools for all the camps and practices. Well, with a Jeep it's a little more difficult to be a part of a car pool in our neighborhood. There are only 3 seatbelts in the Jeep's backseat, limiting the number of kids I could car pool. 

Some mom's see this as a "con" in the list of "pros" and "cons".  I actually see this as a very big "pro". Why?... you might ask...well... On those days when my youngest and I don't feel like heading to swim or basketball or soccer practice, we don't have too. We have no commitments to any car pools. So when the mood strikes us, and we want to play hookey from practice... we put down the top and head out for a drive. 

I figure life is too short, it should be enjoyed. Sometimes you need to be spontaneous and have fun.  My Jeep Wrangler Unlimited has helped me lighten up and relax. It's easy to enjoy life when you have a Jeep.  My family and I love to take a drive with the top down and feel the wind in our face and sun on our skin. Looks like there will be a lot of "Playing Hookey" in our future!   

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Missin' My Jeep - Jeep Jealously

We took our annual family summer trip this year to visit my sisters in southern Minnesota over the Fourth of July. We decided to fly instead of the 19 hour drive, which meant we had to leave my Jeep Wrangler Unlimited at home. (We bought the plane tickets months before we bought the Jeep.) Leaving my Jeep at home was pretty hard. I knew a week without it was going to be rough. But there was nothing I could do. 

Once at the airport, we picked up our car rental, a Chevy Tahoe, nothing like my Jeep. 

As we headed South to our lakeside cabin, my oldest son commented on how he could tell we were out of the big city by the taste in his mouth. He said, he couldn't taste the pollution here in Minnesota. Southern Minnesota in July = miles and miles of farmlands, lots and lots of lakes, sunny skies, and a whole lot of lake-fresh air. Perfect Jeep driving conditions. But I was without.

 What a perfect place to be driving my Jeep Wrangler Unlimited. Wind in my face, sun on my skin, wearing my new hat, and all that pollution-free fresh air. Oh, how I wish I was driving my Jeep Wrangler Unlimited! Just like these folks.  Jeep Jealousy!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Top 10 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Things for Mom Jeep Owners

'm a wife and mother of two active boys. I've gave up my career in television news to be able to stay at home and raise my boys. It has been a fulfilling journey, one I would never change.  Now that my boys are growing up and becoming more independent, I find myself wondering where I fit into the picture. I'm in my 40's and going through some mid-life changes physically (and mentally).  Some days can be pretty rough on my mental health. I have spent a lot of time trying to find a new place -for me. Buying and being a new owner of the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited has made a huge impact on my mental health. Being part of the Jeep Club gave me the boost I needed to start on the next journey in my life.

Here are the top 10 things every Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Mom going through Mid-life Changes must have (in no particular order).

Top 10 Things Every Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Mom Must Have

 1. A hat (straw or baseball) we must be able to see while driving. The hat keeps our hair from flying all over the place while the top is down.
       2. Sunglasses this one is obvious. They make you look cool! 

 3. A gym membership this is very important for you physical and mental well being.  Especially for women in their 40's. Our bodies are changing and are not able to process foods the same as when we were younger.  We need to maintain physical activity, cardio and strength training, to be able to stay in good physical shape.  Eating healthy foods are also a must. Not only do these things help our physical well being they play an important part in our mental well being too. With our hormones all over the place this can sometimes help our mood swings. Notice I said sometimes.

 4. Water Bottle drinking water is important for everyone, but especially women over 40.  I read in Women's Health magazine that women over 40 should be getting 11 8 ounce glasses of fluid every day.  I like the water bottle with the flip open straw.  This also is good while you are off roadin' and the water bottle tips over.  The water won't spill out.

 5. Victoria Secret Yoga Pants I love my Victoria's Secret Yoga Pants.  I have two pair, one black and one gray.  They are perfect for working out and perfect for lounging around the house.  They are so comfortable and look good! 

 6. I-phone so you can download the Pandora App and play all your favorite songs while driving your Jeep Wrangler Unlimited with the top down.

 7. Pandora App This is a free app in the I-tunes store and I have selected all my favorite bands.  AC/DC, Boston, Green Day, Black Eyed-Peas, 3 Doors Down, Matchbox 20, SR-71 are just to name a few. 

8. Aux Connection Cord This cord allows me to plug my Iphone into the speakers of the Jeep. I am in control of the music I want to listen to when I want to listen to it.

 9. Jeep T-shirt it doesn't matter what kind of Jeep shirt but any shirt that mentions Jeep works.

10. The Weather Channel App This is an important app to have when you are the owner of a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited with a soft top.  You need to know when it's going to rain.  However, I'm told as a Jeep owner it doesn't matter if the interior of your Jeep get's wet, it's meant to get wet. I'm not ready for that step yet. 

 Back on the Road (BotR) for my Next Adventure!
Happy Trails!  

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Hat - A Must Accessory for Jeep Soft-Top Moms

I've shared some of the accessories that I bought for my 2013 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited. Most folks who know me know, I'm not a girlie girl, and don't do accessories; no jewelry, no scarves, no make up.  But when you are a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited owner and you're a mom, there are certain accessories you must have to be a part of the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Club.

#1 THE HAT -- I prefer the straw hat.  I bough mine at Kohl's. Some mom's prefer the pony tail with baseball cap. Why the hat?  Well... when the top and windows are down, you want to be able to see where you are going.  If you aren't wearing your hat, your hair is flying all over the place, and you can't see the road in front of you.  Plus, the hat is COOL!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Floor Mat Upgrade

When I would buy a new car, I wasn't big on buying accessories for my car.  Gas was probably the only accessory my car would get...maybe a car wash once in a while, and an oil change - if I remembered.  A car to me was just a means to get from Point A to Point B.  Well...  A Jeep Wrangler Unlimited is definitely NOT a car.  It's a whole new lifestyle.  One of the first things I did -was went online, and bought my Jeep Wrangler Unlimited an upgrade - by replacing the floor mats.  Now, this isn't something I knew to do.  A friend, who also owns a Jeep... Jeep Wrangler Sport ...shared this little secret with me. I bought Rugged Ridge All Terrain Front and Rear Floor Liners - Black.

Now... when the floor liners get filled with sand or dirt it's simple to clean up.

-- All you need to do is pull out the liners and dump.

-- If there is a soda spill or even a chocolate shake spill.  You pull the liners out and then spray down with the garden hose.

Now... my friend - who owns the Jeep Wrangler Sport - shared another secret with me...  Actually he shared a couple, that's what you do when you are a Jeep owner.  You become part of a special club and it's not just for men!

This "secret" tip will save you some money.  The Jeep Wrangler floor liners in the back are carpeted on one side and vinyl on the other.  All you need to do is flip it over to the vinyl side and WAHLAH.

Back on the Road (BotR) for my Next Adventure!
Happy Trails!