Wednesday, January 28, 2015

accountability 2.0

you know, i've said before that if only i could suck it up and change my diet and cut out a bunch of the junk that's a staple in my everyday life and kept up the pace of my current workouts, i'd probably look pretty badass.  too bad all those cookies and pizza and the chocolate and cupcakes and and and... all get in the way.  haha!

but then xtend barre announced a new challenge for 2015.  from february 2nd to april 2nd, you commit to one of three levels for both fitness and diet.  there's the core, where you do at least 3 barre classes a week, eliminate all processed foods, and basically eat clean.  then there's hard core, which is 4 classes plus cutting out sugar, and then the extreme has you in class 5 times a week and adding dairy and gluten to the no-no list.  


but as i perused through the challenge manual, i realized that a lot of the guidelines in the core level for diet were pretty doable.  and, i gotta admit, are changes that would be good for the whole family and mostly ones that the hub has been after me to adopt for ages.  and so...

yeah.  first name on the list.  BAM.

after celebrating baby monkey's birthday, i dropped the bean off at home and headed over to the studio for the official kick-off party/weigh-in.  yaaaaay.  i stepped on this contraption and held onto the sensor for a few seconds:

and then, just a little bit more humiliation - the measuring tape came out and with it, the ugly truth:

this biophotonic scanner takes information from the palm of your hand and provides you with a score reflecting the antioxidant level of your skin.  basically, it tells you how well you're doing with getting those daily fruits and vegetables in.  and as luck would have it, those smoothies we started making again really helped.  i was so sure i'd be in one of the lower levels, but my score was rather solidly in "normal."  phew.

a local fresh-pressed juice bar was there to offer samples of their juice cleanse.  he asked me what my favorite vegetable was, and when i said "cucumber," he handed me this.

it's a mixture of kale, cucumber, spinach and some green apple.  sounds and looks icky, but it was pretty tasty.  and to further enhance our challenge, the bar has a special secret menu just for us that works with the dietary guidelines we've chosen.  it's suggested that we do a juice cleanse once a week - you get a jug of your choice of juice flavors and a jug of lemon water and you drink it all day long to flush out your system.

for $35 a day.

let's just say i'm looking into juicing machines now.  heh.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

celebrating baby monkey

our weekends tend to be busy anyway, but this past one was quite a whirlwind of activity.  we kicked saturday off bright and early at the bean's school for this:

yup, it was recital time again.  although this is her third or fourth (i've lost track) one, so she's pretty used to it by now.  she was happy to sit next to her BFF, who was performing for the first time.

she played her two songs well, and happily accepted her medal and certificate at the end of the show.

after a quick breakfast with the hub, we headed out to pasadena to join the celebration for weezermonkey's mini-me.  it's still amazing that she's already a year old.  the venue was colorfully and whimsically decorated, which is exactly what one would expect out of mama monkey.

look!  a balloon artist!  she was awesome, too - perfect balloon sculptures and super friendly to everyone.

the bean and mini cee were quite enthralled with her.

i was rather happy with my thai iced coffee myself.

while i didn't eat any of it (duh), i did think that the bird sculpted from an apple was pretty cool.

have i ever mentioned how much the bean adores babies?  she was so excited to meet mini weemo.

well, i was pretty excited too.  i hadn't actually seen her since she was teeny-tiny.

cake time!  and yeah, i'd done cookies too - shaped like bees.  for the baby's bee-day.  get it?  the cake that weemo's cousin made for the party was adorable, and together they were just perfect.

the guest of honor liked the cake too.  well, we think so.

back at the table, we were laughing at the drawing the bean had done of her tablemates - lilcee and winnie's husbands.

oh, and of course we hit up the balloon artist for something for ourselves.

on the way home, someone was wiped out from the flurry of activity that day.

Monday, January 26, 2015


girl scouts love ceremonies.  they do ceremonies for all sorts of things - earning badges, crossing from one level to the next, a tuesday.  okay, just kidding about that last one.  but seriously, they love to celebrate all sorts of stuff.

we were excited to plan out our very first ceremony with the girls.  it's the one where they receive their pins and officially become girl scouts, and it's called "investiture."  actually, this is a ceremony for both girls and adults who are joining the girl scouts family for the first time, so it was going to be fun for all of us, scouts and leaders alike.  families were all invited to join us and watch the ceremony, and we'd set up a little party afterwards, potluck-style.  everybody was excited - well, at least, i think so.  i'm still not sure the girls quite understood what the hell we were actually doing, but they went along with it anyway.

one of my co-leaders and i met up the night before the big day to finalize the details and do as much of the room set-up as we could, so as to lessen the running around we'd be doing when the parents and girls arrived.  we scurried around, clearing off counters and putting up a banner the girls had decorated and setting up the chairs for the group.

i got all of the pins out and arranged them on a table to be handed out at the end of our ceremony.

a little sidewalk chalk on the floor to mark the girls' positions was the final touch.

getting all of that done ahead of time was a good move, and it left us with just a few things to do when we arrived that evening.  when we were all done, the room looked like this:

i'd done some little certificates for each new scout and we placed them on a table along with their fun patches to be placed on their uniforms.

a trip to costco yielded a bunch of fun flowers in the perfect colors.

and just inside the door, we set up my iPad to do a slideshow of photos we've taken of the girls at meetings and our outings thus far.

when everyone was ready, the girls lined up outside and then entered the room in a single-file line, singing "i'm a girl scout daisy."

one of my co-leaders said a few words of welcome, the bean announced that we'd start with the pledge of allegiance, and we were off and running.  it was followed with the girl scout promise, and then each girl read a line that they'd been assigned from the card they were holding.  once they were all done, they walked over one by one to do the girl scout handshake, receive their pins, and then line back up so that parents could take photos.  it was short and sweet, just like our girls themselves, and then we did a quick Q&A with the parents about upcoming events - like the cookie sale, which starts on february 1st.  speaking of cookies, do you love my apron for when we work our booths in front of the grocery stores?

when it was over, we got a few pictures.

after a little socializing with the parents, the three of us co-leaders realized that we hadn't pinned ourselves.

and now we're official too!

we were really happy with how everything had turned out, and now we can focus on that all-important cookie sale.  there's a lot of work to be done, and since it's our only fundraiser this year we really want to kick some serious ass.  since we're a brand new troop, we have limited funds to work with, and it'd be great to beef up the troop account with some cookie money.

are you local to me and want cookies?  hit me up starting february 1st.  we've got lots of cookies coming, and i'd be happy to hook you up with some samoas, tagalongs, name it, we'll have it.

as if i didn't have enough cookies around all the time, huh?  ha!

Friday, January 23, 2015

time with the teen

between the job and the boyfriend, the teen is a busy girl these days.  i feel like we don't get to hang out very much at all anymore, which makes me sad.  on the other hand, i'm happy for her that she's so busy and having fun with people - you know, other than her mother.  heh.

we did have the opportunity to spend some quality time together last week when we decided to take on a trail run we'd seen on our last breakfast with the ILs.  we'd spied people who were parking in the lot adjacent to the airport near the fairplex and taking off on foot or on bikes, and had made a mental note to check it out ourselves.  so after dropping off the bean at school one day, we hopped in the car and headed to pomona.

it started off with a quick jog down some cracked pavement.

as we scampered along, we had to decide between continuing along the path or veering off into the trails.  i'd googled and seen that we were on the edge of nearby bonelli park, where lots of trail runs and triathlons are held.  feeling up for an adventure, the teen opted to do a little hiking.

i hate hills.  this was the face i made as i trudged along behind her.

it was a dead end though, and we came to a halt at the top.  at least we got a pretty view.

heading back to the pavement, we found this at what we thought was the end:

we started to jog down the trail, but found that the recent rains had left a whole lot of mud and ickiness.  we went about as far as we thought was safe, but once we hit a really big puddle that we couldn't walk around, we gave up and headed back.


we'd barely gone a mile at this point, so we thought maybe we'd try a different trail that wasn't as shaded, which meant less mud.

i had to laugh when the teen said "it looks like we're in scotland or something.  there should be bagpipes playing in the background."  neither of us really knows what scotland looks like.

we'd seen bunnies and squirrels along the way, but when we spied a coyote scampering across the trail in front of us, we threw in the towel and turned around again.  although there was one more trail that led up to this thing:

so we took it.  hey, it added another half mile to our total.

following the trail behind it led us to the edge of a neighboring golf course, down the hill and dumped us right in front of the parking lot.  we hadn't even done a full three miles, but we were sweaty and sore from the sun and the hills.  haha, we're such wusses.

but we'd had fun, and i'd gotten to spend time with my girl.  that's all that matters, right?
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