Back to School – Summer Style

I finally took a leap and went back to school this summer.  I only have an Associates degree and never finished getting my Bachelors.  I’ve had my professional position and career for almost 16 years so obviously, my employer(s) didn’t / don’t mind.  It is more for self satisfaction.  I can’t get over the fact that I don’t have this one piece of paper that says I have a Bachelors in blah-blah-blah.  Instead, I am going to stress myself out and possibly put myself in debt for said piece of paper.  This isn’t my first attempt…I attempted to go back to school in 2012, but the whole moving process derailed me and then bam!  Time flew on by and here I am, 3 years later, finally here and doing it.

I was overly ambitious at first, taking 3 classes in the summer.  Summer sessions are only 8 weeks in duration so it’s much double time.  I decided to drop one before the deadline because I realized I wouldn’t be able to spend quality time with my girls while they were off if I kept on with the 3 classes.  Just in the 2nd week now and I’m thinking maybe I should have dropped 2 and just stuck to 1!  It’s pretty intense, y’all.  Why?

I (am):


B) haven’t been to school since 2004.

C) now have 3 kids all home for the summer.

D) “single-momming” it for the most part since pDaddy took a job out of state.

E)  still working full time from home.

F) OLD (did I say that already? I’m going senile too, I guess).

G) going back to point “D”.  “single-momming” it is no joke.  I don’t know how you real single moms/miiitary wives handle it…Hubby came home for a weekend after a month and I was overcome with joy and chores for him to do!  ahahahah  Seriously though, I had to add some of his chores (mowing the lawn, etc.) to my already long list PLUS school.   I think I’m a glutton for punishment.

WHY else would I be getting all anxious and stressed?

I am OVERLY analytical by nature.  I mean, it is my profession as well (systems analyst), but throwing multiple choice questions at me has me in an anxiety ridden state.  I end up finding the “correct” answer in at least 2 of the options because I could argue both (or more) sides of said options.  I have been in a position to “think outside of the box” – to find a way to go around the problem/solution.  I have been used to questioning requirements and see if I can find loop holes and faults.  i know how to find a way to “break” something when I have to dual role as a systems analyst and tester.

pDaddy and my parents always said I should have been a lawyer, but as I’m studying Business “Legalese” this semester where in the first 3 chapters, we study different kinds of laws and courts of law, etc…I don’t know.  Even when there is a final answer, I don’t find it finite.  It’s not like Math – where 1+1 = 2 (let’s not start on Common Core now).  I mean really, I like things cut and dry.  Multiple Choice answers make me stressed out and anxious.  At least give me an “if – then” statement or condition or have a viable way to argue my answer choice instead of giving me a red X when I choose the “wrong” one.  UGH. Where’s my wine!?!?!

ANYWHHHAAAYYY…let me get off my school soapbox for a minute and just do some catching up…

I’m debating on whether or not to fully resurrect this blog or create just a whole new one entirely.  I can’t even think of a new site name or new “moniker” so I guess I’m answering my own question and sticking to this for now.

Brief run down on me…

In the past year or so, I’ve:

  • taken a liking to Zumba so I’m also trying to keep that on the schedule whilst adjusting to not having pDaddy working from home.  This means that I can’t get my Zumba on if I am inundated with work-work and/ school-work nor can I go if any of the girls are sick b/c I can’t just leave them with pDaddy anymore.  I feel my inner diva comes out when in Zumba.
  • run the best race I have in a LONG time – injury free too!  Still over 2 minutes slower than my best, but I will take slow over injury! This was also over a month ago :(  Best race in 2 years and I haven’t really run since.  pDaddy took his out of state job shortly (monday after my saturday race) after that.  I should just run in the gym on a treadmill, but that goes in line w/girls not being sick and poor Shrimpie was sick w/a fever for a full week and then almost 2 weeks after that on and off.
  • come into my own in my Bullet Journal.  It’s not the original way, but it works for me and is pretty here and there ;)
  • spent WAY too much on craft / art / stationery supplies.  I don’t even want to calculate.  Nope, not going to happen.
  • slowly been getting into “plannering” and all the inks and planner stamps that come with it.
  • not spent much in the realm of make-up/beauty products *ANGELS sing*…not that I’ve saved tho :( That spending got diverted to craft stuff mentioned above.
  • seen one of the most beautiful places in the world – El Nido, Palawan Philippines when we went to the Philippines back in February for pDaddy’s cousin’s wedding and grandma’s 90th birthday celebration/reunion. Got to also swim with sea turtles which was also pretty amazing!
  • discovered new music.  LOVE “Hot Sardines“.  No shame in my game admitting that I discovered them through the Starbucks app.  Glad the world is finally catching up to “PMJ” and I also love “Us the Duo“.  What an amazingly, talented couple AND she’s Filipina to boot ;)  Holler (wait, do all the cool kids still say that?  totally aged myself again, me thinks).
  • made new friends.
  • gained weight, lost weight, gained weight, lost weight, lather, rinse, repeat.
  • started to get comfortable in my own skin even with the weight fluctuation.  I mean, I wish I still looked like I did back in the early 2000s, but hey, I can sit here and argue, I had 3 kids since then, etc…Fact of the matter is, yes, I do have 3 kids and the last one made my stomach a luxury townhouse  building, but I wouldn’t change it for the world.

A whole slew of other things have been going on as well, but let’s stop there for now.

My KJ Leg

The Race where my soleus became "quite angry" with me.

The Race where my soleus became “quite angry” with me.

Yes, I just called my leg a “Kill Joy.”  More specifically, I’m calling out my Soleus Muscle.  My who-what?  Yeah, that was my reaction too.  This is a muscle around your mid-calf area.

The soleus muscle is found in the back of the leg above the Achilles tendon extending up to the main calf muscle. The soleus is a group of strong muscles which are essential for walking and running. They also help in stabilizing the ankle hence preventing us from falling forward when standing.

It has put a pause in my running and it couldn’t have come at a worse time!

I joined the “No Boundaries 5k Training Running Group” with our local Fleet Feet that just opened.  Our training group, “NoBo” for short, started in May and ended with a 5k race in August.  We would meet 2x/wk and would go out with mentors rain or holy humid hotness or shine.  This running group and crossing that finish line in our Graduation Race in August did it for me, I caught the running bug. I did trigger my mini injury the week of that Graduation Race.  I was too excited and probably ran harder than I should have (it was taper week after all).  I started to feel a pain in my right leg.  I was ok though.  Just some ice and I was fine.

I signed up for 2 more races in September and I was able to run one.  I guess I ran that last one too hard.  I did set a PR though :)  I stretched pre and post race, but all throughout, I kept looking at my Garmin and seeing that I was pacing at under 11 minutes which was miraculous.  I tried to dial it down a bit because I kept thinking that I was going too fast (for me).  I just couldn’t.  I had the adrenalin going and my momentum was just carrying me!   I felt good after the race.  I knew I would need to ice my leg when I got home, but still, I felt great!

What wasn’t a good idea was that I was in the drive-thru line for Steak N Shake for over 30 minutes.   I usually wouldn’t mind that because there were a lot of people and it means they’re making things fresh.  What I didn’t realize was that sitting in my truck (SUV) for that long wasn’t good for my leg at all.  Once I got home and tried to get out, I almost fell because of the excruciating pain I felt.  I was literally hopping on one leg into the house and limping for the next week and half.   I missed the second September race I signed up for because I was still limping, but it was ok b/c it was also my daughters’ birthday party.

I stayed away from running for a week and half and attempted to run with Buddy that Tuesday.  I went 2 tenths of a mile  on a jog and was just done.  I just walked Buddy…no more attempts of running.  I was supposed to run a 5k that Friday, not happening.

I went to Fleet Feet and talked to one of the guys that worked there.  We spoke about and it and he was right in saying it wasn’t a shin splint (this whole time I thought it was).   He said to try to run through the pain, but if it went over a certain threshhold, to stop.  I did just that on Friday night and ended up running 3.19.  I had some pain and so the ice came out again. I guess I could’ve run a 5k afterall.  It would have been  my slowest, but still.

I tried running again a couple of days later…the pain was back.  I finally went to see a Physical Therapist / Sports Medicine Doc.  That’s who told me my “soleus is quite angry” at me.  He  made me run a little on the treadmill and said, “I notice your limping”.  I simply said, “yes, because it hurts!”.

So, I’m supposed to start therapy for at least an hour 2x/wk.  I haven’t heard anything yet.  Maybe my regular dr. hasn’t given him a prescription yet (hasn’t given me one at all).

I’m being stubborn and ran on the treadmill on Monday.  It wasn’t too bad, but I was really going much slower than I usually would…about a 14+ minute pace.  Maybe that should be my pace for awhile.  I only went for 1.85 miles, but still, better than nothing.

I really hope my leg starts to cooperate soon.  There are 3 5ks I want to run in October and November.

Hello? Is this thing on?

Wow, been almost 2 months since I posted.  Once again, I need to clear the cobwebs…

I’ve just been so consumed in EVERYTHING going on w/everybody that I haven’t had time to blog.  Facebook and Instagram have been getting updated frequently, but that’s about it.  Mainly, I update Facebook b/c my relatives are mostly all on there.  Being that we moved out of NJ into the middle of the cornfields, that’s another way for everyone to keep up with one another.  But this here blog?  Well, no one in my family really knows about it.  It’s my “anonymous” place on the interwebs…that’s now full of cobwebs.

Thing is, I’m not even sure where I want to go with this blog anymore.  I started blogging years ago just to track my babies’ development in utero and out.  Then it became me wanting to get fit and my kiddie entries fell to the way side.  Then I got back into Fashion and Beauty and then getting fit again.  See what I mean?  This blog is everywhere except one focal point.

Then again, it is my blog, so I guess the focal point would be whatever I wanted to talk about, but…At least I see that my blogging has enabled a way for me to have a tool to look back on things and some things make me feel goofy and other things make me feel old (like what?  I started this blog when Razz was but a whee baby?  She’s now 5, by the way).

As always, I need to learn to make time.  I think I’m getting better with juggling family time and such, but I need to make time for this little home on the web.  I wonder if I’ll keep this blog or start a new one…

4 Weeks Later

evil goodness

Pumpkin Cheesecake – aka evil goodness

First of all, HAPPY NEW YEAR!  I do hope everyone had a great holiday season and a fantabulous New Year so far!  We had a great Christmas and New Year full of decorating, baking, cooking and wrapping/opening presents.  I am not ready to let go of Christmas yet.  I can’t bring myself to bring down our tree and decorations, but I just have to keep reminding myself that dust…dust is our enemy.  I am hoping to post recaps of the holidays soon, but today’s post is to update myself on my 4 Week Goal Accountability post.

4 Weeks Ago, I set these goals and by today, I was supposed to be able to say the following, confidently.  Unfortunately, it was a lot harder than I anticipated and our holiday baking and cooking frenzy was no help.  So the only things I have been able to accomplish are crossed out.

By January 10, 2013, I will be able to proudly say I:

  • have worked out at least 4-6x/wk (Turbo/Gym)  – only 2-3x/week.
  • lost 10 lbs – actually gained 4lbs, but it feels like 10.  my cheeks feel chubbier…my belly and thighs feel humungo! :(
  • am able to do 10 push-ups with no knees  YEAH BOSS!  BIG CHECK on this one!
  • am able to do 10 tricep push-ups  – nope…only about 3.
  • lost 2″ from my waist – scared to check, but I probably added 2”.
  • drank 80 oz of water daily By far, the easiest since I love water.
  • can run 1 mile straight – haven’t even tried.
  • can finish CORE 20* (floor work) without stopping – haven’t tried either.
  • limited bad carb in-take – baked goodies messed me up,  big time!
  • increased fruits and veggiesmy body looks for salad…love it!
  • made daily TO DO lists and prioritized  Big CHECK on this…though my “priorities” don’t always get done did.   I need to work on that now.

So, there you have it.  2 steps forward, 200 steps back.  I wish I never tasted good pumpkin cheesecake (until this past Thanksgiving, I didn’t like anything pumpkin).  Once I tasted the (expensive) pumpkin cheesecake,  I decided to try to save money and make one myself and darn it, it turned out great!  I didn’t realize it was so crazy high in calories!  I mean, I knew it was high, I didn’t think 1/12th of a cheesecake could be over 400 calories!

Anyway, I am keeping at this this and if I don’t do some kind of “reset”, by February 7 I will need to cross more things off this list.  I really need to focus and make a change.  My cholesterol needs to go down. I do not want to go on medication if I can help it.  I repeat, I DO NOT want to go on medication.

So, I’ve started to take steps and log my food in and am going to try to burn at least 600 calories at the gym tonight…



Losing Weight, Not Just for the Vain

4 Week GoalsYup, I need to lose weight and it’s not to look pretty or be skinny anymore. It’s nothing to do with vanity…nope. It’s for my health. I had some bloodwork done and my numbers were pretty high for cholesterol. In fact, the doctor said I should be on medication with my numbers, but she didn’t want to put me on medication until I tried to lose weight first. I’m not even clear on how much weight I need to lose.  She may have told me, but I think I was too dumbfounded at the moment and forgot to ask.  I think even losing 10 lbs would help.

Through the years, I have had my ups and downs with weightloss. I had stints of getting into working out, running, dieting, etc. I would lose weight, but would gain it back. I never got to my goal weight. Over the summer, I started one of the BeachBody programs (same company that sells/promotes “P90X”, “Insanity”, etc.). I started “TurboFire” and let me tell you, it is great! The instructor, Chalene Johnson, knows how to get you going and keep you going. I lost weight on it, but didn’t keep it off because I didn’t keep up with the program and at some point, fell off the wagon w/working out and eating.

My problem is 2-fold: Eating (not the best of foods and not in small portions) and Motivation.

I can be so gung ho about working out and getting in shape and my mindset will be in the right place, but for some reason, I end up getting distracted and losing that motivation. This time around, it was because girls and I kept getting sick with the change in seasons. Still, when we got better, I didn’t go back to working out with gusto like I did.

Same with food, I can be so healthy 1 week and then devour fast food and junk food the next week (and the week after that, etc.).

I need to stop this, I know it. I like how I feel when the inches come off. I love that my clothes get loose and I’m not “muffin-topping” like crazy.  I love that I have more energy when I workout and lose weight.   I love that even my skin benefits from me sweating (releasing toxins, I guess). I need to get going and make changes. I need to be healthy. High cholesterol at 35 is not cool. Being on medication is not cool and for what? Lack of focus and motivation?!?!

I need to start eating better, but dieting is not for me. Restricting myself from certain foods just makes me binge on them later on. I just need to eat clean as much as possible and/exercise more portion control.

I know what I need to do and I need to make myself accountable.  My #s need to go down and not just on the scale.  They need to go down for cholesterol and dress sizes.  I hate that I just had to buy an XL skirt because my waist is too big, but I have to get it hemmed because it’s too long.   Big waist and short legs are just not a great combo!

I follow Chalene Johnson’s FB page and she put on there to make 4 Week Goals. That was one of the 1st things I did today and I posted it on Instagram and on our Turbofire Challenge Group page on FB. pDaddy signed up for a family gym membership so I am starting to go there now…so far I went Friday and Sunday. I may not be following Turbofire workout schedules to the “T” anymore, but I will still use some of those DVDs. They are awesome workouts! I wish I could have had more focus and more determination/motivation to do the full 90 day program because I know I would have seen results. I saw results after the first 2 weeks!

So anyway, here is me…being accountable with 4 Week Goals (pictured above):

By January 10, 2013, I will be able to proudly say I:

  • have worked out at least 4-6x/wk (Turbo/Gym)
  • lost 10 lbs
  • am able to do 10 push-ups with no knees
  • am able to do 10 tricep push-ups
  • lost 2″ from my waist
  • drank 80 oz of water daily
  • can run 1 mile straight
  • can finish CORE 20* (floor work) without stopping
  • limited bad carb in-take
  • increased fruits and veggies
  • made daily TO DO lists and prioritized

There you have it.  4 weeks from today.  Wow, I just made “resolutions” before New Year’s!


*CORE20 is a TurboFire workout

Keepin’ It Real – Messy Kitchen Edition

I wish I had some super power to just keep everything clean.  I wish I could just move my mouth side to side / crinkle my nose a la Samantha on Bewitched and then the whole house would be clean.

messy kitchen :(

You see this?  This is me…keepin it real…showing you our kitchen…a great looking kitchen when all is clean and put away, but when this BZMomma is not feeling 100%, worked until 3:40am and is a WAHM w/2 sick kids…this happens…not pictured?  Sink almost full of dirty dishes…

I don’t know how the rest of you keep up, but I seriously wish we had a maid sometimes.

Did you know…in the Philippines, a third world country, maids and live-in nannys are pretty common if you’re middle class and up???   Well, more common than in these here United States.  Usually, in the Philippines, there are some maids that do it all, but unless you’re lucky enough to find a maid that’s a “jane-of-all-trades”, most households actually have more than 1 – 1 for laundry, 1 for cleaning, 1 for cooking, etc.  Baffles my mind how that works.  I know I can hire a cleaning service (for an arm and a leg), but sometimes I just want someone to come here and clean at the end of each day…make sure the kitchen is clean and free of clutter…everything in every room put away, etc. We’re really trying hard not to go to bed w/dishes in the sink and clutter. etc., but sometimes, it’s just inevitable.  I shouldn’t dwell on it b/c of present circumstances, but still…

Trying to teach the girls to keep up after themselves and the big 2 are great…Then, destructo baby comes along and just messes everything up all over again…blocks are spilled out, books are taken off shelves, etc…It’s like she finds comfort in clutter and it’s beyond any of us.  I feel bad b/c the big 2 know they’re going to get in trouble if they don’t clean up at the end of the day, but it’s like day’s end never comes because Shrimp will just keep messing it up all over again.


Blessing and a Curse – Part 1

Lately, I’ve been thinking about how great I had back when I was younger…or even just in my 20s…you know, before I hit my 30s and everything caught up to me.   I feel like I have a lot to talk about w/my blessings/curses so we’ll make Part 1 – Skin, Part 2 – Hair, Part 3 – Weight.   Maybe I should have renamed this series:  Yearning for the Fountain of Youth.

Anyway, I’ve posted before how I’m a late bloomer – especially when it comes to my skin.  I had porcelain skin in high school.  While my friends were learning how to apply make-up and learning how to hide their flaws with said make-up, being BFFs w/Oxy,  and trying every “zit-zapper” drug store brand under the sun, I would bask in my extra minutes of sleep because I wouldn’t have to do any of the above.  I would just shower and go.  At night, I never really washed my face either (don’t judge!).  If I did, it would just be water.

I felt like I had to start taking care of my skin though (???  I don’t know why, I thought I was missing out on something).  So, I started the Clinique 3 step program.  However, I was not consistent at all.  I remember throwing out cleansers and such over a year later.  I never learned how to pick the right foundation or concealer shade and therefore, never learned how to apply it either. All I would wear was powder.  I wore other make-up, eventually, like eyeliner and lipstick/gloss/balm/etc., but nothing to hide flaws or even my skin tone with.  I had it good…REAL good.  I was blessed with porcelain skin.

Fast forward to when I was 19.  A friend of the family, who was pretty much my Aunt, commented on how beautiful my skin was.  At this time, I went back to Clinique and even added a scrub as my skin was starting to get obviously oily.  I told her what I was doing (although still not consistently) and she said to keep up with it.  I don’t know why I didn’t listen.  Always listen to those old family friend/aunts who give you advice when they have a right too (she was in her 50s and not a pore in sight!).

Fast forward again to when I was 25.  I finally moved out of my parents’ house (I stayed home for college…wasn’t allowed to dorm b/c I was a girl – that’s a whole other story).  I moved to downtown Jersey City to a BEAUTIFUL luxury 3 bedroom apartment w/2 of my friends.  My skin had a hard time adjusting to the water (I guess it was hard water?), my stress level went up because of being on “my own” (with roommates, but still), more bills than usual (I paid some when living at home w/parents to help them out) and stress at work and I had my first bought of breakouts.  I mean, serious HUGE pimples popped all over my face.

I had no idea what to do or how to handle it. I didn’t even want to go out w/my friends at times.  I didn’t want to go to work.  I didn’t want to go anywhere, but stay in my room.  I didn’t know how to fix it or hide it.  I didn’t want to see a dermatologist because I didn’t want them to put me on something that would bring all the dirt and what have to the surface (I heard horror stories of how people broke out more, at first, before they got better).  I was in mid-20s and finally coming / blooming into my own.  I didn’t realize being a late-bloomer also applied to my skin.  I felt like a kid going through puberty.  At least when you’re in high school, you have others to commiserate with.  I had no one.  The curse of having beautiful skin while everyone else suffered – I never took care of it or learned how to.

Eventually, my skin cleared up, but I now had battlewounds (aka acne scars) to show what I went through.  Fast forward again to 27 when I was pregnant with my first, Beans.  After the shock of it all, I took motherhood to the extreme where everything was about her.  I don’t regret that at all.  I do regret not taking care of myself.  I couldn’t find that balance.  I didn’t know how to make everything about her, but not forget about me either.   This happened for ALL of my girls.

Fast forward again to 3 years ago – early 30s.  I finally started to stare at myself when I looked in the mirror.  Before that, I would do everything so quickly just to make sure my hair wasn’t all over the place, my clothes weren’t inside out and my eyeliner wasn’t smeared/smearing.  What I found, scared (vain) me.  My pores had gotten big and visible.  There is no reversing that.

Starting last spring, I have tried to really take care of my skin.  I can’t undo the damage, but I can try to hinder anymore damage from happening or at least slow it down.  I’ve gotten good with washing my face 2x /day.  I’ve been trying different cleanser lines, but haven’t quite found one that works well – all the time.  Clinique still works for me, but I’m trying to find something that will control my crazy oily producing face.  I swear sometimes I feel like I can fry an egg on my face (sorry for that visual).  It doesn’t help that I now sweat easily (happened after pregnancy weight gain than I never lost).  I finally went to see a dermatologist and she happens to also have oily skin so she understands my woes.  She’s got me on some retinoid and trying Cetaphil’s new line for acne prone skin (wash and moisturizer).  I ran out of my Clinique Acne Solutions line (lower your volume if you’re going to click on that Clinique link) so it was good timing.  So far, so good, but the weather has also started to cooperate (read as:  not 100 degree hot) so we’ll have to see.

Just an FYI though, I did like the Clinique line.  Right before I started using it again, I was breaking out around my jawline and cheek area…heat related?  I don’t know, but it cleared pretty much within a few days.  Cetaphil is looking like it’s working for me too, so far.  Maybe even comparable to Clinique or maybe it’s because I’m also using a retinoid.

I wish I had my old skin back, but at least now, I’m teaching my girls that it’s important to wash up every night – for now, I’m letting them just use a washcloth and water everynight…just to let them get into the habit of it.

What a blessing it was to have porcelain skin, but also a curse because I took it for granted and never took care of it and so never knew how to take care of it until later on in life… #firstworldproblems,Iknow