The While We’re Here Bucket List

We added and updated the list!!

We just moved from Virginia Beach, VA to the Jersey Shore this past December. My blog turned into a ghost town since the move and all while I was trying to revamp the blog . But we’ve been super busy moving, unpacking, 2 sick furbabies and just settling in and dealing with the winter blues for the first time in a long long time. But finally spring is starting to creep in and our kitties are feeling better so I thought it was time to dust off the blog and get back at it!

We will be here in New Jersy about 3 years sooooo we started making our New Jersey Bucket List!! We want to make the most out of the time we have here with as many adventures in NJ, New York and even the Philadelphia area of PA that we can.

Visit New Jersey

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Lot’s of hiking! New Jersey has quite a few great areas for hiking. Looking forward to autumn hikes the most and hope to get in some of the Appalachian trail (think, Stairway to Heaven)!! The Appalachian Trail is gorgeous during the autumn months! Top 10 Hikes In New Jersey If you are into hiking, High Point State Park supposedly has nice loop hikes incorporating the AT trail through it. Plus it is the highest point in NJ which means some beautiful views during the fall season!

Beach hop. We want to spend time all along the Jersey Shore and maybe a bit up into New York checking out the different beaches and beach towns! We’ve kind of started as you’ve seen by some of my last blogs. Of course it’s been way too cold to get in real beach/ocean time or to see how crazy crowded the Jersey Shore beaches can get during tourist season. All 44 beaches in New Jersey, ranked worst to best

Daily fitness/nutrition goals. Can we say, slackers?? Between the move and my hubby traveling for work our nutrition and fitness has kind of gone down the toilet so to speak. So now it’s time to get our act together. This will include lots of hiking, yoga, and Les Mills programs. This much we figured out before the move, the combo of these three things WORKS to add strength while making us lean and fit. My hubs will add a bit of running in there because it’s required for his job but I decided I prefer race walking and hiking. I’m a faster walker than runner and I enjoy it so much more! But of course no amount of exercise matters if nutrition sucks. Our plan is Vegetarian/Flexitarian Mediterranean nutrition plan. 30 day free trial Les Mills On Demand: sign up for a new LES MILLS On Demand subscription. On that page click the green text “Redeem Promo Code”, paste the code in and click apply. Your code is: supinesubstance57
The page will refresh and a hidden promotion with a 30-day free trial will show. Once you complete the sign up process, you will automatically receive 30 days’ free access to LES MILLS on Demand. **Terms and Conditions: Extended free trial is for 30 days and is redeemable for new subscribers only. Not valid to past trialists or current subscribers.

See Hamilton on Broadway! Yes, it’s expensive, and yes we will get the least expensive we can get lol, but it’s something we both want to experience. And maybe a few others too like Cats and Phantom. Broadway.com

Photograph a walking tour of New York city. I want to soak up as much of the city as we can. I’ve always been a city girl and could see myself living there. But this city girl is married to a suburban kind of guy. And I agree in part because I can’t wait to have a garden and a yard for our future dog to play in!! New York City: The Official Guide

Yankees game(s)!! I LOVE baseball and the hubs is ok with it (he’s not a big sports guy). I’ve been a Yankees fan since I was little, even while growing up in Ohio near Indians (I wish they’d change the name already) stadium and going to Indians games. So we gotta go, even if I’m in the bleachers or nose bleed seats! MLB New York Yankees

 

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Bronx Zoo…As I get more and more into the issues animals face, while wishing they could thrive in the wild, let’s face it we are eating up and destroying all the wild spaces! Most of my adult life I’ve been anti zoo and anti captivity. And while that still stands true for the most part. I can also be honest enough to admit we at times are fighting a losing battle to keep the animals safe and safe from extinction. One day zoos may be the only real safe zones for them. So I am a zoo advocate while still being a harsh critic of zoos. They need to do more, they need to actually keep them safe and not exploit them. They need to help the species to survive and thrive and not just for profit or human amusement. So we like to visit zoos to see how they rate as far as concern for their residents. *The Bronx Zoo opened November 8, 1899. The Bronx Zoo is a zoo located within Bronx Park in the Bronx, a borough of New York City. It is one of the largest zoos in the United States by area, comprising 265 acres (107 ha) of park lands and naturalistic habitats separated by the Bronx River. On average, the zoo has 2.15 million visitors each year. The Bronx Zoo is world-renowned for its large and diverse animal collection, and its award-winning exhibitions.[5] The zoo is part of an integrated system of four zoos and one aquarium managed by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), and it is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).[6] Bronx Zoo: Saving Wildlife and Wild Places

Bed & Breakfast at Christmas in Cape May. Cape May New Jersey is a little bit magical during the holidays. The little coastal town is lit up with holiday cheer and touches of old fashioned Christmases gone by. Since they have so many century type homes still standing and still taking in guests and residents Christmas touches are just a little extra in the sweet town. Filled with small shops, confections and collectibles it’s the perfect place to welcome the season! I fell in love with Cape May when we first arrived here in December. We went down for trolley rides; one was an old fashioned Christmas ghost story while riding the streets of the town, one was an actual guided tour of the homes  and bed and breakfasts as we were told the rich history of the town. All the homes and B&B’s were decorated with lights and trimmings for the trolley tours. A must see if you’re ever in the area! Cape May

See the Battleship New Jersey. Historical site. USS New Jersey (BB 62) Wikipedia Battleship New Jersey

Visit Atlantic City & The Boardwalk. We already did a bit of this the past week. We wandered the boardwalk and the beach, drove around the city and visited a great little eatery, The Enlightened Cafe which is also a great community outreach. We have tickets to see Piff The Magic Dragon this weekend in Atlantic City. The area tends to pull in loads of great entertainment throughout the year. Atlantic City is mostly known for gambling but neither my hubs or I tare into that.  Atlantic City NJ

 

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Make snow angels! We haven’t seen a lot of snow during our 10 years living in Virginia and when we did we did it didn’t last long. It’s been a long time since I’ve made a snow angel and I plan to make them often during the winter months here. And speaking of snow, maybe some sledding and other winter sport activities while we’re this far north!

Six Flags Great Adventure. We already have season passes. One of the biggest pluses to being in New Jersey is that we are near Keith’s family! We plan many a visit with the fam to Six Flags while we’re here since it’s one of their “go to” spots with our niece and nephew! Added bonus is that we live super close!! Six Flags Great Adventure

Ellis Island & The Statue Of Liberty. This is simply one of those things you just need to see if you’re in or near New York City. History! Ellis Island

Explore Philadelphia! This city is another that’s rich with history. I regret in the entire 10 years we spent in Virginia we never took a trip to Washington DC to soak up all the history. So we don’t plan on skipping that with Philly! The 10 Most Essential Things to Do on Your (First) Visit to Philly

Dig For Herkimer Diamonds!! You can prospect for your own Herkimer Diamonds in Herkimer NY! “Herkimer Diamonds are high vibration crystals, that boost clairvoyant and clairaudient abilities. There’s even a KOA camping resort you can bunker down at! Can’t wait to get my hands dirty!!

Popcorn Park Zoo, speaking of zoos. Popcorn Park Zoo is a small 7-acre zoo. According to the Associated Humane Societies, the zoo is “a sanctuary for abandoned, injured, ill, exploited, abused or elderly wildlife, exotic and farm animals, and birds.”  This is someplace special and I want to celebrate that! Popcorn Park

 

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Paranormal Museum Asbury Park??? Unexplained phenomena, legends, folklore, myths, or are they?? The Paranormal Museum is a storefront and museum, in the tradition of “Roadside America” days gone by attractions. It houses a collection of historical and educational exhibits and just sounds like a heck of a lot of fun! I’m up for the macabre!! Paranormal Museum Asbury Park

Seashell Museum, because beach, sea, shells. I’m all about all things beachy and ocean related so this sounds like a great little day trip!! The Discovery Seashell Museum

Morey’s Piers & Wildwood. Morey’s Piers is a 6-block beachfront amusement park featuring 100+ rides & attractions including seasonal water parks. And Wildwood NJ has some great beachfront to explore and enjoy some sunshine at!!

Grounds For Sculpture. For my artistic side this place looks gorgeous to visit!! Grounds For Sculpture is a 42 acre sculpture park and art museum!

Cape May Lighthouse Full Moon Climb A great fitness challenge doing something you know you’d like to do anyway, that’s the way I see it anyway lol. Lighthouse Full Moon Climb

Off Roading The Pine Barrens, yikes! Rattlesnakes, frogs and a whole lotta swamp! But, we have a jeep so we can adventure!!

Rock Climbing. This is uncharted activity for hubs and me. I’ve talked about it and repelling often as something I want to try out. So time to strengthen up our arms and legs and dig in! These are the most popular places for rock climbing in N.J.

 

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My not so little list keeps growing. I started this blog post before we moved, that was in November and when I opened the draft I had to edit in so much more we’ve found to see and do. So many parks and hikes we are super excited about! So many beaches to explore! Now we’re in search of the lesser known out of the way gems that only locals know about. So this list WILL be added to on the blog and as we do them, I want to cross them off the list to see how much we accomplish!!

<We’ve been honest that this wasn’t the easiest move. We called Virginia Beach VA home for 10 years of our 11 years together and all of our married life together. So Virginia Beach was home to us. But being in New Jersey has so many high points we can’t not be excited. Especially with family being here. I started this list to get myself ready for new adventures and discoveries and I know we’re gonna make a lot of memories and have a lot of fun!

 

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If you are in the New Jersey/Philladelphia/New York area and have a fabulous sight you think we should check out or activity we may want to dive into, leave me some info in the comments and it may get added to this list!

*Italics: Wikipedia

 

 

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Sunshine Blogger Award

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Many thanks to 💛 Jim @ This Is My Truth Now for nominating me for the Sunshine Blogger award. He nominated me way back in July and somehow I completely missed this tag 😞 But I found it, so here goes!

This is an award for those blogs which bring sunshine into your life… interpret it any way you feel is appropriate, but follow these guidelines:

Rules
1.) Thank the person who nominated you in a blog post and link back to their blog.
2.) Answer the 11 questions sent by the person who nominated you.
3.) Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.
4.) List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or on your blog.

  • Where is the best place to watch the sunrise or sunset?

Hands down – the beach! It’s the most amazing feeling to watch the sun rise or set way out as it seems to or rise from the ocean depths 💙🌊

  • What color do you wear the most often?

Hmm probably black because that’s one of my favorite colors. 

  • How many siblings do you have?

Two (one passed away quite a while ago)

  • Which charity would you leave all your money to in the future?

I would divide 😂 all my money between the ASPCA, Harley’s Dream, and Oceana because yeah, I really do love animals more most of the time. But my money certainly wouldn’t go very far.

  • If you lived in another country, what would it be?

Italy or Ireland, maybe New Zealand.

  • What are your favorite and least favorite candy bars?

Favorite, mounds, I love coconut. Least favorite, almond joy, why did they have to ruin a delicious coconut candy bar???? Seriously, I don’t think I have a least favorite or favorite. I don’t eat candy bars very often. I usually eat 3-5 Hershey Kisses and I’m good to go for regular candy. As far as chocolate, I prefer the good expensive kind that isn’t filled with bad ingredients.

  • What is you favorite time of day?

Twilight, or very early dawn. Used to be middle of the night.

  • What is the least favorite part of your own blog?

I recently made a lot of changes and I don’t really dislike anything anymore about my blog. I dislike the fact I am bad with time management and don’t blog as much as I’d like to.

  • What food causes you to pig out the most?

🍕🍕🍕 Pizza. Pizza is my guilty, not guilty pleasure. Now I’d rather make my own so I can control the ingredients 😉 and that makes it a healthier option than ordering.

  • What actress would you want to meet for coffee?

Jennifer Lawrence, Rosario Dawson, Nikki Reed, or some other actress who speaks 🗣️ out for a cause they believe in. I’m not much of a fan girl type. I look at acting, writing, singing, playing a sport as no different than any other job. Everyone has a talent at a job they do, some just don’t see it that way. And people who do jobs that put themselves in harms way for the community and those who teach our children should be honored more than any celebrity, ever! But those who use their public platform and followings to try and help their world are pretty amazing to me. Now that is a super power 

  • Where is your most ticklish spot?

Sides, but I can get control of it pretty quick and I WILL tickle back!

 

I nominate:

  1. Karen
  2. Rosie
  3. Chloe
  4. Sarah
  5. Tammy
  6. Anna
  7. Mac
  8. Kelley
  9. Micaa
  10. Lynn
  11. Laura

 

My Questions For You:

  • If you could travel anywhere, where would it be?
  • Who inspires you the most?
  • What is your dream job?
  • Which country/city/place would you recommend to visit, and why?
  • A book that you will definitely recommend?
  • What do you do to take care of you?
  • What fictional place would you most like to visit, and why?
  • What is your favorite song of the moment?
  • What is the one touristy thing I would have to do or see in your home town?
  • Who’s your favorite superhero?
  • At what time of day do you enjoy sunshine most?

Versatile Blogger Award 🏆

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Taking time out of your day to acknowledge those who have spotlighted your blog and recognized it’s value in the blogging world is important I think. Because, after all, we are here to be seen and enjoyed and when someone specifically calls you out on that, it’s special and to be held close to the heart!!💓

 

 

 

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Sarah from the amazing  Lifestyle With Sarah, for nominating me for this award! I’m excited, this is fun and allows you to introduce other’s blogs! Thanks so much Sarah 😘

Please visit her blog  Lifestyle With Sarah for some wonderful lifestyle/beauty, reviews and inspiring ideas!

The Versatile Blogger Award is given by bloggers to other bloggers to recognize their work and high-quality writing, creativity, unique content and love for their passion. It encourages bloggers to continue doing what they love.

Rules for The Versatile Blogger Award

  • Thank the person who nominated you for this award and provides a link to their blog.
  • Nominate at least 5 other bloggers.
  • Link the nominees and inform them about their nomination.
  • Share 7 facts about yourself.

Seven Facts about Me.

  1. My husband and I met online (he lived in Florida & I was in Ohio), and we were married a year later. We will be celebrating 9 years together this year!
  2. I find sauerkraut revolting
  3. I color adult coloring books (not x rated, silly) as a meditation tool.
  4. I can’t swim (yet, classes this summer!).
  5. I love Italian food

My Nominees.

  1. Discovering Your Happiness
  2. We’re The Travelers
  3. The Om Project
  4. Harley’s Dream
  5. art of being fabulous
  6. Rachel Mankowitz The Cricket Pages
  7. Adventures On The Run
  8. Neurodivergent Rebel

Garden State Of Mind

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I’m back from my Thanksgiving getaway to my In-Laws in New Jersey! I hear so many people talking about their bad relationships with their husbands family and I have to tell ya, I’m blessed in that department. My husband’s family makes my heart smile. You know that warm fuzzy hot cocoa, soft blanket & great book kind of warm and fuzzy. They feel like home 💗

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They came in to town and our plans had us leaving the next day for New Jersey. Yep, 369 miles to get me, and that was just one way. We went to dinner at Cheeseburger In Paradise, one of my favorite places. And it’s all because of pickles! They have the best fried pickle chips ever and they are served with a delicious sauce! They put a new drink on the menu, Spiced Berry Sangria and I’m not much of a drinker, but this was seasonal and very very tasty. Nice for a family toast!  I highly recommend this restaurant. It’s a beachy themed sports bar/restaurant atmosphere. The food is reasonably priced and service is always great.

This wasn’t a touristy trip at all. It was filled with family, great food, a fun event and a fabulous movie! We spend a lot of time in the car. My brother-in-law and sis-in-law and their kids live about a half hour to 45 minutes away from my In-Laws house and we went out that way twice. But the drives were nice. The weather was chilled but sunny for the most part and autumn was full bloom. Took some pictures from the car…

I love New Jersey. It’s rich in culture and heritage. Diner’s are still all the rage in Jersey and that is most excellent. The diner is to Jersey what a coffee shop is to Seattle. It’s where you go to eat a meal, have coffee or two, or three and just have conversation. Diners have regulars, so if you are one, you likely know many of the faces you see when you come in. It gives a community feel to the neighborhood. In a world where many neighbors don’t know your face, in Jersey diner patrons see each other and greet each other. Add to that, all the trees, the hilly terrain, brick houses and of course the hues of autumn were gorgeous with the blue sky and sunshine as the backdrop.

 

Fantastic_Beasts_and_where_to_find_them_logo.pngWe went to see a movie that I feel like I’ve been waiting forever to see!! I’m a big Potterhead and was so excited that we were going to see Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them!! I’d been reading the reviews and some were mixed. I think it came down to people expecting it to be the same as the first in the series. But how could it be. It was a different time, different cast, different mood. The book itself is a different mood departure from the what the films were based on. This is by far my favorite of the series. And as my husband said, Newt Scamander is my spirit animal. If I went to Hogwarts, I am very Luna Lovegood. But closer even than that to my personality is Newt Scamander. He is the animal rights activist of the wizarding world. And Eddie Redmayne was brilliant in the role. The supporting cast was pretty darn awesome too. I love love loved this movie!!! newt-scamander After the movie we went out to dinner at Houlihan’s . Good dinner, wanted cappuccino’s but they were out, settled for coffee then some much needed sleeps, the next two days are a lot of driving and busy busy busy….

 

 

 

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Thanksgiving Day began like usual. It was a tradition in my family and in Keith’s to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. There’s something wonderful to be said for traditions in families. Traditions make life just a little warmer and memories that much more special. So in my fuzzy slippers and with a cup of coffee I sat and watched the parade surrounded by all the memories of days gone by in that cozy home where my hubby grew up. And although my hubby couldn’t be there because of work blah blah blah, this was the next best thing.

 

Then it was off to dinner!! It’s a tradition that my sis-in-law & bro-in-law do Thanksgiving. And I wouldn’t want it any other way. They have a feast of deliciousness. And Tori’s family joins us and so good food and good company is the blessing of the day! But, I have to admit I spent most of the day with our nephew and niece 💗 They kept stealing me away to play, which was by far the BEST part of the whole trip! They are at the age that the distance and time between us doesn’t make them forget bonds that were formed. Keith and I have lived away from all our nieces and nephews and it can be hard to form good bonds. It’s something we’ve learned that is a really important thing to focus on. If quantity of time is unrealistic, then quality of time must be foremost.

So we all at well and enjoyed the day. I was missing my hubby and missing Ippo (our dog that passed away in September) and of course our kitties. But being around family makes the missing pieces feel not as distant.

The next day we headed back out that way again for Hugs For Brady Holiday Light Show at DeVry University. It was their first year and it was for a good cause! They had a lot of activities that kept the kids happy and having fun. It felt like a carnival without the rides. But they had a bounce house/slide and face painting along with other activities that kept them amused and us entertained watching them have fun. The lights were beautiful once the sun set. And at the end there was a light show we sat down for. That, they have some kinks to work out. It was a great way to spend my last evening in town though. Surrounded by family and enjoying an event that helps kids.

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I’m sad my hubby had to work but it was nice having his family all to myself for once. Living too far away for frequent long trips back to our hometowns and families we have to take advantage of all the moments we can. And usually I let my hubby monopolize his families time because he doesn’t get to see them as often as he’d like, but this time they were all mine. And to them….

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Travel Photography Advice!

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I found this fantastic travel blog,  G Adventures and a really cool write up about how to,  and not to take travel photo’s. I’m just learning how to take better photo’s mysself. And am signing up for classes very very soon. Photo’s hold your most precious memories. Not only for yourself but for everyone you share your adventures with now and in the future. Learning how to better capture those moments is a subject I’m delving into more and more. So check out the blog and learn how to take better vacation pics!

 

How Not to Take a Travel Photo

Do you suffer from boring travel photo syndrome? Don’t worry! Travel photographer Peter West Carey’s got your cure!

Source: How Not to Take a Travel Photo

How I Boost My Energy Level And Metabolism + A Recipe

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Loki & Tinka Belle & Their Afternoon Siesta!

Power naps – 10 to 15 minutes will do. It will recharge your batteries and give you a boost. Don’t make the naps too long or it may have the reverse effect. You really have to tweek this to suit you. So start with 5 to 10 minutes. Some times if I shut my eyes when I am really feeling fatigued, within 5 minutes I wake up feeling refreshed.

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Guest Bathroom

First thing in the morning where does everyone usually go straight to? The bathroom! Decorate in yellows and or reds in your bath area. These vibrant colors stimulate your mind and wake your senses. You can use this trick at the office or before a run or any time you need a mental boost, just focus on something red or yellow.

 

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Afternoon Yoga

Not only will yoga & stretching lengthen and strengthen muscles but will also give your energy levels a boost while helping to increase your metabolism. You can even find simple stretches to do at work.

 

 

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Sunshiny Yoga

 

Focus on your posture. Better posture, sitting up straight, burns more calories, boosts metabolism and keeps energy flowing through your body. Ever notice mid-day you start to slouch? Focus on that posture!

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My favorite outside time is anywhere near the ocean!!

💙

Go outside and breathe in some fresh air. Take a brisk walk, a couple times a day even. This will give you some amazing benefits and get you in the habit of motivating to get out from behind the desk, or off that couch! I love walking the beaches. The sand acts as resistance on your muscles giving you not only a relaxed view, but a great workout.

 

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My favorite snack!

Eat magnesium rich foods. Like almonds. They will give you a boost and fill your tummy with a healthy snack all at the same time

 

 

 

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Strength training is great for runners!

Change up your exercise routine. Muscle conditioning can get even your muscles bored. switching things up gives muscles confusion and they have to work a bit harder.

Speaking of exercise. Don’t just run or walk. Throw in some strength training. Adding lean muscle helps you burn metabolism harder.

 

 

 

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Handle tasks on your feet!

If you sit at work, do portions of your day standing. Whatever tasks can easily be done from a standing position, do it. The benefits far outreach just a metabolism boost or upping your energy levels

Bonus Recipe

 

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This isn’t my recipe. But it is a recipe I’ve used a few times and is a staple in my kitchen now. We don’t use energy bars often in our house. But hubby likes them when he does long runs and they are awesome for when we hike. This is my very favorite bar recipe!

Raw Superfood Energy Bars

Cherries and goji berries are soulmates in the dried-fruit world—I often make trail mixes that pair these two red beauties. Here, they’re friends again in these wholesome, cacao-nib-accented raw bars. Packed with all kinds of antioxidants, these bars appear to be “only” sweet treats, while undercover they are anti-aging workhorses.
Author: Julie Morris
Serves: 8 bars
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup raw almonds
  • ½ cups raw walnuts
  • ½ cup dried goji berries
  • ¼ cup Medjool dates, pitted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup dried cherries
  • 2 tablespoons cacao nibs
Instructions
  1. In a food processor, combine the almonds and walnuts, and process the nuts into the size of small gravel. Add the goji berries, dates, vanilla extract, and cinnamon powder, and process until the mixture forms clumps and begins to stick together. Add the cherries and cacao nibs and process briefly to incorporate the ingredients, but leave some small chunks for texture.
  2. Place the dough on a large sheet of plastic wrap on a cutting board. Press the dough into a compact rectangle, then wrap it tightly in the plastic, compacting it even more. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough into a ½ -inch-thick layer.
  3. Unwrap the dough and cut it into 8 bars or smaller bites, as desired. These superfood energy bars will last several weeks unrefrigerated and covered, or keep them in the freezer for long-term storage.

Recipe Source: Superfood Snacks: 100 Delicious, Energizing & Nutrient-Dense Recipes 

Hitting the pavement (or trails)

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1. Start Small
Maybe you’ve never run a day in your life. Or maybe you’ve taken a big hiatus from the pavement for whatever reason. Or injury has kept you sidelined. Regardless, you need to start or start back small. The most exuberant first time mountain climber isn’t gonna go out and tackle Mt. Everest his first climb. It would be foolish but also self deflating. You need to set yourself up for success, strength gaining and endurance building.
Heck you don’t even have to “run”. If you don’t feel a run, then walk. Or if your conditioning won’t yet allow running, then walk. Walk as slow as you need to. The point is letting your feet touch the pavement, the trail or the treadmill ( I highly suggest one or both of the first two. Treadmills are great for intervals or really bad weather conditions but being in the open air is just in general better for your health).
Commit to a 15 to 20-minute short walks or runs, or intervals (run/walk/run), three times for one week. Sure, you may want to do more, but just stick to short sessions. After three or four weeks of regular training, aim to increase your workload and running mileage.

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2. One Goal
Goals help you to focus. That eye on the prize mentality. Something that would make you feel inspired or accomplished in your training. Sit down and come up with the ONE goal you want to achieve. Do you want to run a 5K, a 5K in under 30 minutes, or are you trying to get back into marathon running? Choose a race allowing yourself enough time to reach that goal. Be very very realistic. Check and see what the time limit is for the race and then set your training accordingly, but make sure it’s doable!!

 

 

3. Find Inspiration
That can be from other people who are runners or race walkers. Join a club, or some bigger races even have training groups. Many small running stores have group runs. I’m part of the RWB who gets together not only for races, but training runs, strength training , hill work, yoga and cross-fit.
Follow blogs that inspire you and your training. Find an inspirational quote every day that you focus on. Make it your mantra for the day and focus on that when you train.

 

 

4. Commit Your intentions out loud to someone or to many
You can blog it, tell members of that new group what your training plan encompasses, or tell your family members around the dinner table. There are many forums you can find about running, or Facebook groups. Even Reddit has running threads you can follow and share with.
You will also need to hold yourself accountable—long term—for your actions. Don’t just commit once and it’s over, but hold yourself accountable for the long term by providing everyone on your accountability list with regular progress updates every week or so.
So far I’ve told my blog readers my intention and also how I’ve been slacking. My hubby knows, as well as knowing details on my training schedule so he can kick me in the butt when needed.

 

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5. Change up your training routine
Especially when you feel you’re getting bored or losing excitement in your walk or run. This can especially happen when training for longer and longer distances. So small changes help immensely. It can be changing up your play list, or your running route (which you should do for safety anyway), as well as time of day. If you are a road (pavement) runner, find some smooth trails that aren’t to challenging (where you would need to buy trail shoes for), or accept the challenge. Hey that means you can shop for some new shoes ladies 👠
This is the good time to throw in some treadmill intervals where you can change up the speed and incline. If you google treadmill intervals you will find all kinds of routines to do. Or head outside for the hills, I said hills, not mountains, for some hill work. This will help strengthen your legs.

 

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6. Befriend Runners

As I said above, find some fellow runners or walkers. Check what you are doing minute per mile and then go seek like minded (ability) people. I also belong to group on Facebook called the Running Turtles. They are local in my area but they have everyone from 20 min mile walkers to 6 min mile runners. It could even be your spouse or a friend who has similar goals. But if you do that, just make sure you are positive for one another. You don’t want someone who can easily talk you out of walking or running for the day to go to the donuts shop instead!
Also just befriending runners in online groups even if it’s a national group like the RunJunkEes® Run Club is for me. We do have a small local group that meets. But many in RunJunkEes® are online just for the support, tips and motivation they get.

Also small local running stores often hold runs and running workshops. Some are often directed at showing off a new shoes style. But that’s a benefit because sometimes you get to try the shoes too! And besides, you need to get fitted properly if you’re just starting out anyway. Too often people buy running shoes in the size they normally wear in non running shoes, and guess what, most of the time that’s not the right running shoes size you need. Plus there are shoes depending on your pronation (heel goes to the left or right when you come down on it) and you can get shoes to help because that is a discomfort when running.

 

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Or walking

7. Celebrate your Successes

And try not to do it too much with food if you don’t have a healthy relationship with food. Much better choices are ways to pamper or gear yourself.

  • Massages are a welcome relief
  • Manicure and Pedicure will make you feel awesome and usually you get a bit of a foot and calf massage added into it!
  • A new haircut or color is a great way to celebrate you getting healthier and stronger
  • New shoes (any new shoes 👟)
  • New running clothes! I adore INKnBURN as I guess you know by now and for me the fact that these are special limited edition runs makes my self esteem stronger when I run in them. They are special for my training and they help me to not give up!!

 

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8. Starting for the first time

Depending on your skill level and athletic ability there are good training plans out there that are all just a little different and that makes it easier for you to find the right fit.
Couch to 5K training plan you can find on the internet and apps for your phone

  • Get fitted for the proper running shoes
  • Start with run/walks
  • Let your body be the boss. Your brain may think “but I’ve only gone 10 minutes, I have to push further”, but if your body is hurting badly, your limping along, or you are fatigued, pushing to hard will damage you for your next outing.
  • HYDRATION – yes capital letters. You may not feel thirsty at all, but your muscles need that hydration, or they will quit on you. HYDRATE well before your run (give enough time to head to the bathroom before your run).
  • Plan a safe route. A route you know, where the neighborhood is safe, time of day is safest and where you know the actual layout of the pavement or trail. Yes, walk it out first and know where there is and isn’t sidewalk. And where there is cracked up sidewalk. Where there are badly managed trail areas. It’s great if you can find a school that allows you to use their track, but check with them first so you don’t get arrested for trespassing. This is another area knowing local runners or running stores can help you out.
  • Take breaks when you need to, you are training your body. Training translates to, your body doesn’t know how to do this yet.
  • Make sure you’ve eaten a small but healthy meal about an hour before your run. Your body needs fuel. Especially when you are asking it to do more. There are many books on runners nutrition out there, just google.
  • Be patient with yourself and if you don’t succeed with your planned time or planned miles, don’t stress it. Just lace back up the next training day and go out and get it!

 

 

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True Story!!

9. Some suggested help for you from me…

Zombies, Run Phone App.

RunJunkEes® Run Club

Team RWB

INKnBURN

Jeff Galloway Training Excellent place for walkers to start. Jeff has training plans to take you from walking into running.

Hal Higdon For those already able to do some running.

ResqWalk ResQwalk is a FREE mobile app that enables you to raise money and resources for animal welfare organizations, simply by walking.

Charity Miles Choose a charity and walk or run for it.

Garmin 

Fitbit

Run Fast. Eat Slow.: Nourishing Recipes for Athletes

I’m not listing shoes because every foot is different. I have used three different brands since I started. But I was fitted for the brands.

There are other phone apps out there such as Zombie 5K, Map My Walk, Map My Run, Get Running, Runkeeper, Couch to 5K, C25K, Runtastic, and Edumondo. I have used all of these and they all, like most apps have high points and low points. You just have to give them a test run and see what fits your needs best.

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Getting outta my own funk

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Life is a head game.

Running is a head game.

Getting out of our way is sometimes the biggest challenge we will face in life. But to move forward you’ve gotta face the obstacles you, yourself are placing in front of you. Often, they are the biggest mountain you have to climb. Even more so than anything else that becomes and obstacle from other sources. We can be our own worst enemy or our greatest hero. We can be the thing that drags us down or the momentum that makes us rise. But it’s all a choice, a choice to face fear and a choice to admit areas where we may be frail, or not as strong for the task in front of us. But it’s usually not the frailty or lack of strength or knowledge that kicks our butts. It’s pride, it’s fear and it’s self doubt that binds us. The words “I can’t do that” and “It’s too hard” just be stricken from our minds eye. We are capable of so much more than we know.

This is for the dreamers who fear to go out and make that dream a reality because they don’t have the right tools. And the ones who want to climb that mountain but fear their days of glory are far behind them. This blog is for those who’ve been kicked down by life and are having a tough time standing back up. And for those who let the little voice inside who says “You can’t do that” and “That’s to hard for me” win.

I am with you.

I am one of you.

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Self doubt is something I’ve fought my entire life. And getting back up when life kicks me down is something I’ve always stumbled through. The last few months things have happened that separately, I likely would have dealt with much differently. They likely would have made me a tiger who through tears and troubles would have persevered through. But sometimes life gives you just the right (or very very wrong) one two (or three) punch in the gut that knocks you down and keeps you down for the count.

 

So what happened?

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My husband had to be gone for a while, off to another country for work. I injured my arm and side very badly. My dog passed away  and I was suffering from some pretty bad insomnia because of all this. This combination knocked me right out of the ballpark as far as any race training went. Or any running, run walk run, or heck even walking went. I started becoming a couch potato and emotional eating again. Between trying to heal from the injury, sadness over my dog and overall sleep deprivation and my hubby being so far away , I felt like a mouse on a wheel going nowhere and it would stay that way forever. Well that’s how it felt.

 

 

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In reality, three really long months. And getting back into training seemed like Mt Everest to climb. That huge wall was in front of me and I knew I eventually had to start kicking it down and the longer I waited, the bigger that obstacle was growing.

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March 19th my first Half Marathon is happening. And it’s happening if I’m ready or not. And I think that realization is just thing I’ve needed to kick my butt back into shape emotionally, mentally and physically. I am going to treat my run training with small steps of forward momentum.

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Not really starting at square one, because I do have some training and experience. But yet again I really think that’s what I plan to do. I need to start again, fall in love with it all, all over again. Remember how my body responds to the challenges I set and how I overcome them. Accomplishments can be a strong driving force. And challenging yourself is what I’ve found to be the best way to gain self esteem.

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That’s what is so amazing about running and the running community. The only one you are really racing is yourself. Sure you can get into all the head games of who is faster than you. But really, who cares? What are you truly afraid of? That is the question I have to ask myself and I want you to ask yourself when you face the doubt. Because really you just have to get of your own way!! And I’m doing it with small forward steps.

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So this week I begin again. I have an early training start to my Half Marathon. Monday’s are a designated rest day which I will usually just do some gentle yoga for. So Tuesday is my official day back on the pavement. But stretching is  awesome for runners and just generally is fabulous for your mind and body. And I am hoping to post a recap of the day, every day to hold myself accountable!! Call me out on it if you don’t see a post after a couple days 😏

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 It won’t be morning because I am allergic to mornings. Even working I prefer night shifts. Mornings are for late breakfasts, but… Tomorrow I will share a bit more inspiration I found as I struggled through the last few months not training. I knew I would eventually pull myself out of my own self created funk, but a little inspiration and motivation along the way has really helped!

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And for all the Supernatural Gifs I used in the making of this blog post and those who love the Winchester’s and the rest of the Supernatural cast….