Monday, December 30, 2013

Slow Down the Pace --Time to Enjoy Life & My Jeep --Slow Down Tips

Last week I told you my New Year's Resolution -- to Simplify My Life.  Well, one of those ways is to free up my time.  When I free up my time, I will be able to go out and Enjoy My Jeep with My Family. I am making the choice to slow -  down -  the -  pace.

I want to have a greater appreciation of life.
I want to enjoy the natural world around us. 
I want to savor my time with my family.
I want to enjoy the every day simple things we do. 

   With the advancement of technology, we are used to getting things quicker and faster right at our fingertips.  But the irony of modern technology saving us time, is we are actually losing time.  We fill up that saved time with more projects and activities.  We have to have it all, and do it all.  Time is passing us by too quickly. Are we really enjoying life -- Or are we in this never-ending loop of hectic activities?

     Here are some tips to get out of that fast-paced, frenzied fever we call life.  I have scoured the internet to find what others are doing to slow  --  down  -- the --  pace.  I have compacted the ideas into short simple phrases to allow you more time to Enjoy Your Life.  

Slow --  Down  --  the  -- Pace  --  Tips
  • Do Less & Focus on the Important - pick what's really important and needs to get done and let go of the rest.
  • Prioritize Tasks - pick 2 or 3 things you want to do that day & do them 1st.
  • Plan your day
  • Delegate
  • Learn to say NO!
  • Do it right the first time
  • Get ready the night before
  • Reduce distractions & stay focused
  • Filter your email
  • Do your errands at the same time
  • Reduce your TV time
  • Automate bill payments
  • Sort your mail in hand 
  • Remove the clutter
  • Create a family calendar
  • Plan meals weekly
  • Grocery shop once a week
  • Wash dishes while you cook
  • Combine activities 
  • Shop online

Enjoy Your Life Tips
  • Live in the Moment - Be aware of what you are doing and don't let your mind drift about what you need to do next or later.
  • Do Less
  • Disconnect from technology when possible
  • Focus on the people you are with
  • Appreciate nature
  • Eat slower and savor the flavors and textures
  • Drive slower
  • Find pleasure in anything
  • Exercise
  • Sleep
  • Eat a healthy diet

Make the year 2014 your year!  That's what I'm going to do, slowing down to smell the flowers and savor every moment I am on this great, big, beautiful earth. Along the way I hope to cultivate new friendships, explore new places and enjoy life's adventures!
 Jeep -- It's not Just an Adventure!  It's a Good Life.


Monday, December 23, 2013

New Year's Resolution: What's Your's? -Live Simple - Enjoy Life - Jeep Ride

Simplify My Life - Reduce Stress - Enjoy Life
     Well, it's getting to be that time of year again -- time to make those New Year's Resolutions. Every year it seems we make the same resolutions over and over again -- to lose weight, quit smoking, exercise more and, so on.  Mostly it's about getting healthy. By the end of January we've given up or forgotten all about the resolution. Well, no more of those resolutions that you will inevitably fail at. This year it's time to pick something you will succeed at.  That's what I decided to do -  I am going to Simplify My Life -- to make more time to Enjoy My Life. 
     This resolution has many benefits. When I simplifying my life, I will reduce stress, create more time for myself and my family, which will allow me to enjoy life and all those things I wanted to do but didn't have time. Studies show simple living helps alleviate tension-related reactions such as insomnia, nervousness, anxiety, neck and shoulder spasms, and chronic fatigue.
     Simplifying doesn't have to mean to do with out or be frugal. It could -- but it doesn't have to. Rather, it could mean to slow down and live a more balanced, deliberate, and thoughtful life.
      Here is my list of ideas on how you can Simplify Your Life . This resolution can be modified to each individual.  However you choose to simplify your life, remember that simplicity is not about poverty or deprivation, but creating a stress free life. 

 Tips to Simplify Your Life
Clear the Clutter - This is one of the biggest creators of stress in your life.  We all tend to have too much.  Go through each room, closest, drawer and evaluate what you have.  Do you really need it? Can you do with out? Then get rid of it.   
Automate - online banking, shopping, post office.  This limits post office drop-offs, reduces time and money spent on stamps and licking envelopes. Saves time spent standing in lines.
Reduce Debt - This is another big stressors in our life.  When we create a strict budget, stick to it and start paying off the debt we feel we've accomplished something. 
Disconnect turn off your cell phone when you don't want to be interrupted. Don't take a cell phone to an appointment or when you are focusing on someone else.   Don't give out your cell phone number. Use it only for outgoing calls.  Screen calls by using caller ID.   Use the "delete" option -- early and often. Arrange for calls from the office only in cases of emergency. Let voice mail take your calls.
Work Free Vacations   
Reduce Information overloadBeing flooded with stimuli is a tremendous source of stress. Limit the amount of information you expose yourself.
Shed Activities - Make a list of your (and your kids) activities - prioritize your to-do list and shed those that are no longer fun or serve a purpose in your life.
Negative Relationships -- Cut out (or minimize) relationships that cause you stress.
Nurture Relationships - nurture the people who make you feel good and laugh.  Invite them to lunch, send a nice note, invite them to hang out. 
Live within your means

Unsubscribe from junk emails

Learn to say No when asked to do something you really don’t want to do.
Delegate - Don't try to do it all.  Share the workload at home and work by asking for help.
Shop/Cook - Dedicate one night a week to plan and prep for the weeks meals & school lunches. 

Clean out your Garage

Create a Family Calendar 

Organize your medicine Cabinet  

Run your errands during the week not on Saturdays.

Plan time for yourself everyday.

     Even if you do just one of these next year you will be better off than last year. Most of these things I've all ready started to do and it feels great.  I'm looking forward to start checking off those bucket list items because of all the free time I will create!

Jeep -- It's not Just an Adventure! 
It's a Good Life.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Jeep Momma Working Out in the Cold - Cold Weather Workout Tips

How Cold is Too Cold to Workout Outside?

Old Man Winter has arrived! -Days are shorter - Temperatures are plunging.
Early morning or evening outdoor workouts are during the coldest parts of the day. There is good news though.  You don't have to give up those outside sweat sessions due to the bone-chilling temperatures according to Susan Paul, exercise physiologist and program director for the Orlando Track Shack Foundation. It’s generally safe to work out outdoors until the thermometer hits a freezing 20 degrees below zero. Of course you need to be properly outfitted. Nor as a beginner would you want to start training for your first 10K during the dead cold of winter.

If you follow these simple cold weather workout rules you will minimize injuries and boost your performance.

Layers  -- Wear layers of moisture-wicking (dry-fit) fabrics that will keep you warm and dry. I usually wear 2 layers of bottoms -- Nike running pants and my favorite pair of Yoga pants. I like to wear at least 3 tops -- a dry-fit tank top, one thin long sleeved shirt and another thicker turtle neck, Under Armour makes a great one.  I also add a jacket that is easily removable. When I first start out running I'm pretty cold, but once I get to full intensity my body warms up pretty quickly and I shed the outer jacket and tie it around my waist.

Cover your mouth - wear a face mask or scarf wrapped around your nose and mouth -- this will help heat and moisturize the air before it hits your lungs.

Protect your extremities 
 gloves, mittens, wool socks, headband and a snug-fitting hat.

Socks - This is probably the hardest one for me.  My feet get cold very easily, so I like to wear layers of thick socks.  This is hard to do when you go running because there is only so much room in your running shoe.  So, I choose a dry-fit thin hiking sock for my first layer.  For my second layer, Nike makes a dry fit running sock that keeps my foot pretty warm.   

Gloves - You have many choices in gloves.  I usually wear a thinner glove when it's not as cold - like the gloves on the right.  But when the temperature dips lower, and the wind picks up, I reach for a thicker pair - like the ones pictured below.  Also the gloves below have the touch fingers which allow me to use my iPhone while running, a definite plus.

Take it Easy - It's better to run long and easy when the temperatures are frigid then a speed workout.  This is not the time break your distance record or beat your best time.

Warm Up - Since it will take more time in the cold weather, allow your body to warm up thoroughly to avoid the risk of injury.

Remember winter running is about maintaining miles not the speed.  If you are running longer distances you can break your runs up to avoid being in the cold too long. After your run make sure you avoid the post-run chills by getting out of your sweaty clothes and drink something warm.

Jeep -- It's not Just an Adventure! 
It's a Good Life.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Jeep Momma Enters the Bloggers Arena - Creates A Santa Wishlist

My First Bloggers Event - C Wonder - Tyson's Corner

Who knew that there was this whole other world out there?  I sure didn't.  Technology has become an amazing force in our
world.  Some of it bad, but a lot of it good.  For my son who has issues learning the "old school" way - technology has been phenomenal. As for me, it's been opening doors I didn't know existed.  As a stay at home mom my links to the outside world are extremely limited.  But with technology and social media it's  been opening doors to meeting new people and creating fabulous opportunities, I never would have found otherwise. 

Last week was my first mom bloggers event.  I was invited to C. Wonder in Tysons Corner Mall for a mom bloggers party. I was able to meet other mom bloggers and do a little shopping at the same time. It was an inspiring evening -- good to get out to meet new friends and create new connections. 
However, I did discover a few things about myself or should I say, I re-acquainted myself with. I am certainly not up to date on the latest celebrity gossip nor even the news. I attribute this to my disgust of the inner workings of television news and my need to boycott the news media. My knowledge of the fashion industry is very lacking. I've always considered myself a NOT girlie girl. Which to my husband's delight is a good thing. I'm not big into fashion or accessories or shopping. I always wondered what was wrong with me.  I just figured God left out that gene when he made me. Well, don't tell my husband this little secret -- I discovered this gene has always been there -- it's only been dormant for about 40 some years and now has been abruptly awoken.
 I figure it has something to do with my ever changing hormones and this thing call Menopause!  Don't get me wrong.  I still don't like the typical female shopping extravaganza.  I want to get in, get my stuff and get out.  But now I want stuff, I don't just buy because I need.  I want -- and want -- and want.  Here's a little sneak peak of my Christmas wish list to Santa.

I had a fabulous time at this newly discovered store - C. Wonder.  The staff was open, welcoming and very friendly. They made me smile and feel good about myself.  My shopping experiences in the past were never to be desired. I didn't always feel welcome in a store nor had the sense the staff wanted to be there. This place was the extreme opposite. This little corner of the mall has a little bit of everything from jewelry to clothes to housewares to great gifts. 
I was also surprised to find out this shop didn't have cash registers but little hand held devices to ring you up. They are certainly up with the latest technology.  And their cozy, welcoming fitting rooms are "green".  The lights are motion sensitive. So when they are not in use the lights are off. Right up my alley -- warm, welcoming, organized, a little bit of everything, green and top notch technology! Definitely a great first experience in the world of blogging. 
A big thanks to my neighbor, friend, and fellow mom blogger -- Jessica -- for the invite. She is the inspiration behind my new journey into the world of blogging.  I can't wait for my next blogger event and the new friends I will meet.  

Jeep -- It's not Just an Adventure!  It's a Good Life.


Friday, December 13, 2013

Jeep Momma -- Abducted by Aliens ???!!!

You always hear stories of people being abducted by aliens and then returned home unharmed.  And these abductees always talk about being probed and scanned by the aliens. Well, I think I figured out what happened to them -- an MRI.  I had one earlier this week. It was quite an experience -- a very "sitting on the edge of your seat" experience.  What I can't figure out is why -- in this age of technology -- is the machine so noisy.  And it's not just one specific noise.  There are all sorts of banging, humming, buzzing, & pounding sounds.

Since I had both a brain and lower back scan, I was pulled in and out of the tube four times -- each time I was in the tube for at least 15 minutes, one time 25 minutes.  The first time was very nerve racking --just the fear of the unknown and knowing you were enclosed in a tube.  Then when the noises started - OMG!  My eyes were squeezed shut, I didn't open them once. The anticipation of what noise was coming next was terrifying -- because if you moved -- you would have to start all over again. Well, by the third time I was an old pro.  No big deal. I just laid their and counted the sounds over and over again.   But I'll never want to do that EVER again.

So now, I sit and wait for the results. My brain went into overdrive. Of course I'm thinking cancer -- tumor. I'm a "the sky is falling, the sky is falling" type a person when it comes to health issues.  A friend told me to relax and take my mind off it - read, sleep or bake.

Bake -- me ---HA!  I never bake.  First off, it's too precise for me.  I'm more
of a dash of this, shake of that -- take a taste, add some more -- take another taste. Then... there is the whole little complex I have about baking. When I was in junior high, my Home Economics teacher was taste testing one of the muffins I baked.  She spit it out and said it was horrible, it tasted like soap.  Apparently, I measured wrong. The recipe asked for 1 teaspoon of baking soda, I added 1 tablespoon.  Oops!  Well, needless to say, this teacher's reaction defined me as a baker for the rest of my life.  Teachers sometimes don't realize what a profound effect they can have on their students, good and bad.

So now,  I decided to take baby steps with baking. I made some white chocolate clusters and fudge.  My husband told me NOT to make it ever again.  Not because it was bad -- but it was just that good.  It was all gone in a matter of two days --  we have gained a lot of weight from all that sugary yumminess! 

The baking -- as simple as it was -- worked.  It took my mind off the MRI and brought some happiness to my family at the same time.

The recipe for the white chocolate clusters is so very, very simple. 
  • Melt a bag of white chocolate chips in the microwave for two minutes. 
  • Then stir in your favorite snacks -- marshmallows, pretzels, crushed Oreos, peanuts, Carmel bites, toffee bits -- the list is endless. 
  • Then you drop a spoonful of the mixture onto wax paper and let harden. 
WAH-LAH!  I'm now a baker - HA! 

Maybe next time I'll use dark chocolate and some healthy non-sugary, non-starchy bits. The fudge is typical fudge recipe, but I layered the bottom of the pan with marshmallows before I poured the fudge. 

So the waiting is over -- at least for most of the results.  My back is pretty normal with minor arthritis -- which I knew.  Still unsure of the brain and my numbness in my arms.  The scans came back with an unusual amount of white spots which most likely is attributed to migraines -- which I had many, many years ago.  But just to be sure I will now have to see a neurologist. 

Man this getting old thing is scary.  Being in my 40's has taken on a whole new meaning with all the changes mentally and physically.  I can sure be exhausting, frustrating and sometimes depressing.  But as always hopping in my Jeep with the top down always brings back the happiness and youthful me!
Jeep -- It's not Just an Adventure!  It's a Good Life.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Jeep Spa Day - Topless Time!

I can't believe it's been six months since I became a Jeep owner -- and what fantastic six months it's been. Having the Jeep has made the mundane, a lot more pleasurable. To celebrate I took my Jeep in for it's first of many oil change/check ups. We headed over to Darcars of Rockville. I was a little hesitant to turn over the keys to a complete stranger.  However, I didn't need to worry long.  The process was over in less than 30 minutes.  They did a fabulous job and were very hospitable -- even though they are undergoing major construction. The bonus was I didn't have to pay a cent.  The whole service was a gift to me from Jeep!

The customer service representative walked me back to my Jeep, I came across a beautiful site I just needed to share with you. 

 Even though the whole process of entrusting my Jeep to a complete stranger took less than 30 minutes, I am still feeling a little stressed. So it's now my turn for a spa day.  I'm thinking a day at the salon and a nice facial will do the trick.  In the meantime the one thing that always brightens my day and pulls all the stress away is going topless, and in December no less. 

Back on the Road for my Next Adventure! Happy Trails!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Jeep Mom - Getting Old Sucks!

Well, I did it.  I competed in my first 10k race and finished it.  I ran the whole entire 6.2 miles without stopping. I also improved my time by 3 minutes.  However, I was very disappointed with myself -- or should I say my body.  

Tuesday before the race my leg cramped up -- or so I thought it was a cramp.  I spent the next day on a heating pad and stretching.  The morning of the race I was nervous -- I was afraid my leg would seize up again -- it did. The first 3 miles of the race my feet and toes were numb.  I thought it was from the cold -- and during the whole race my entire right leg, hip and glutes were in pain.  But I wasn't going to let my body stop me from my goal.  I persevered and pushed through the pain.  I figure we tell our kids that everyday so I wasn't about to give up.

My leg is still in pain.  From my own internet diagnosis I believe I have sciatic nerve pain.  But I'm not quite sure what the cause is.  My best guess is I was doing exercises that my old body couldn't handle.  Besides lifting weights at the gym and running 3 days a week, I was doing at home workouts I would get
from the internet. My theory is these home workout exercises where doing my body more harm than good. But I will have to wait and see what my MRI says. Not only will they take a picture of my spine but my brain.  With previous numbness in my arms and legs the doctor wants to look at everything.

It really sucks getting old.  But I'm excited about trying again and running another 10k.  This time I would like it if my body didn't let me down. But for the time being I have to wait to see what the test results say. I'm also going to have to remember my body isn't the same as it was 20 years ago.  That is the one hard fact that is really hard to live with -- We are getting older and have to learn to adjust.

Back on the Road for my Next Adventure! Happy Trails!