Clean & Seal

Almost done with the kitchen floors! WOOTY WOO!! All that's left is one more cleaning (This is taking forever. I have lightly mopped a few times! We were told not to mop it hard until it was sealed!), then we will apply the spray sealant. We will finish first thing tomorrow morning!

We went from this:

to this hideousness:

And finally, we are HERE!!!

The bottom pic shows truer colors.

I want to find a dark bar table that seats four, instead of this old hand-me-down table my father bought many years ago. I am also thinking about swapping out the inherited curtains. While they look great and simple (IMO), I'm intrigued by the weather blocking curtains that look similar. We lose a lot of heat in the winter, and in the summer we have the opposite problem. We have great windows, but since they are a substantial size, you can still feel the outdoors coming in!!

For now we are done with the kitchen. In the spring, we will paint the cabinets, replace the hardware, and install new countertops.

Here is the counter sample I have picked out for now:

Originally, I wanted light colored cabinets (white?) and brushed nickel hardware, but I'm not sure that goes with the rustic and earthy tones in our house.

I have also been perusing home improvement blogs, and I really like the darker painted bottom cabinets paired with pale upper cabinets. Leave it to me to NOT save the pic that caught my attention. And, of course, my memory fails me, and I can't remember the blog name to save my life. BOO!

I also love this, and I think the color scheme and feel can easily be tied in with our current decor (what little we have!).

What can I say? It's a S L O W work in progress! You can find all kitchen posts here.

I'm going to concentrate on the main bathroom in February! Oh the excitement!! I started last year and made it somewhat presentable. It is way past time for the finishing touches! Does anyone know where I can find cheap affordable sconces in brushed nickel? :D

Wordless Wednesday - Motivation

Okay, so this isn't really wordless, but I stumbled across this video of Linda Fodor training for the 2008 Arnold. WOW! WOW! WOW! This seriously lit a fire under my ass.

Talk about motivation!

Menu Planning Monday - 01.22.10


Wow, what a weekend. I have ate so much junk that I have really been paying for it the past two days. Ugh! Our kitchen is still under construction, which means I STILL have no stove. :( Luckily our fridge is still plugged in... even if it is by the bathroom! Hopefully they will finish up today! I'm not holding my breath.

Here's my menu for the week! We have SO MUCH food in the house right now. Kroger had an awesome sale this weekend! WOO HOO!

Monday: Pork tenderloin, roasted potatoes & broccoli
Tuesday: Chicken stir-fry with brown rice
Wednesday: Shredded pork over rice or toasted bread, green beans
Thursday: Sloppy Joes, broccoli
Friday: Chicken, corn, asparagus
Saturday: Chili dogs (actually Hormel turkey chili and smoked turkey sausages... both of are on sale at Kroger this week), oven baked fries, more broccoli
Sunday: Homemade pizza w/ a spelt crust!

For more menu ideas head over to OrgJunkie's Menu Planning Monday!

Kitchen Progress Pics

Progress is being made in the kitchen! WOO HOO! Unfortunately, their saw broke yesterday. They have to rent one now. Apparently it is not as good, so they are moving slower than they expected. The saw rental is also an extra expense for us. BOO!

Here are the "progress pics"! It looks better already!! I need to start shopping for drawer pulls next. I'm thinking brushed nickel cup pulls.

For before pics click HERE!

Cuttin' a Rug

Uhm. Yeah. So, last night was another lack-o-sleep night. We were forced to stay up until the wee hours of the morning to clean up a disaster area. Carpet and laminate floor removal ended shortly after ten. Seth's uncle then left and asked us to clean up so that he and another contractor could lay tile in the morning.

Please ignore the mess. This was sort of a last minute project. We have been planning to do it for a while, but due to unforeseen circumstances, the project was indefinitely postponed... then we found out this week (maybe Seth knew beforehand and failed to tell me. He is notorious for that!) that last night was D day.


Oh! Lookie here at what we found under the laminate flooring in the kitchen!! We'll call it vintage. Or we can just call it ugly. I'll let you decide. ;)

And, just because a multi-tonal, nearly psychedelic yellow print wasn't exciting enough, we found this lovely hunter green stone-look linoleum under the carpet. CLASSY! Want to know the saddest part? The boys liked it. Seriously guys?

Note to self: I am no longer living in a college dorm room. Time to take down the Starry Night framed poster.

So, now that we have a mess on our hands, a stove in the living room and a fridge by the bathroom, I can't help but sit back and think WTF?! The contractors are supposed to be at the house laying tile this very second! Hopefully I will be able to share some updated pics with you tomorrow.

It should look a lil' somethin' like this:

Once again, I missed my date with Jillian and the 30 Day Shred. Heck, I didn't even consider doing it this morning after getting to bed so late, and let's face it, with all the kitchen furniture and appliances in the living room, I just don't have the space.

The cabinets and/or countertops are next on the hit list. And I want to finally complete the main bathroom in the not too distant future.

I'm blushing!!

Good evening folks! I've been doing kitchen reno crap all night. I was wrong when I said I was spent earlier. Now I am supah dupah spent!

Anyways, I thought you all might want to read my interview on a great blog which promotes female athletes, bodybuilders, figure athletes, bikini competitors, MMA fighters, etc. Jason works really hard to make this blog what it is. Hop on over there and check it out. :) Pay no mind to my typos in my answers. Proofread FAIL! LOL!

Seriously, this interview is just as bad as watching yourself on tape. I blush and cringe every time I read it. LOL!


Lack of sleep is prevalent in my life this week. Monday I fell asleep during my lunch break. Tuesday I fell asleep amid an IM convo w/ a dear friend (who does that?!), and this morning I fell asleep while sipping coffee in preparation to do The Shred. I'm not one to nap often, especially ON ACCIDENT and DAILY! LOL! I'd like to blame a seemingly subtle work schedule change that has thrown my systems offtrack. I AM SPENT!

Also, in other spending news, our 2010 budget is moving along quite swimmingly in the grocery department. Our restaurant budget has dwindled down to a whopping $3, and our entertainment budget is also down to $3. BOOOOO! I am looking forward to February already!

And completely off topic, tonight we start removing our kitchen floors! WOO hoo! I can't wait to see the finished product! The new floors should be installed by the weekend, then I have some cabinet work that I am doing. I also need to check with Lowes for new countertops. YAY!

Did any of you set spending/budget goals for 2010? How are they holding up? I hope you are doing better than us. $3 doesn't get you far these days! LOL!

I Challenge YOU!

I spend way too much time on Twitter. Late last week a challenge was posted...

So, now, I challenge YOU!

Head on over to NU Fit and check out the quick Metabolic Conditioning workout dubbed METCON.

So, take a couple minutes and challenge yourself! Don't forget to time yourself and post up the results! I'd love to hear how you do!

Here are my results, fasted and mildly hungover. LOL! (What? It was Saturday morning. Y'all know I like to get down! LOL!)

And, no, I wasn't wearing my HR strap! LOL!

I like 'em tart!

Hi friends!!!

Lori from Lärabar sent me several bars to try and review! I love the ingredients on these wholesome natural bars. Simple ingredient lists make me happy! These bars are basically fruit and nuts. No added chemicals or preservatives... if stranded without a meal, these are a great option.

Let's start with the Tropical Fruit Tart bar...

I have to be honest, this was a bit of a disappointment to me. The combination of flavors did not make my taste buds do a little dance. I usually LOVE tropical flavors. This one didn't dazzle. The texture, size, and ingredient list sure did make me happy, though. I'd eat another, but I would choose other flavors over this one.


Next on the list: Peanut Butter & Jelly

Who doesn't love PB&J, really? I was so stoked to try this flavor! I had seen them floating around blogland, but I was never fortunate enough to run across them in stores. It didn't live up to my expectations... perhaps I set the bar too high. I liked it okay. I liked it better than the Tropical Fruit Tart.


I'm totally digging that ingredient list!!

Next up, Cashew Cookie!

This was AWESOME! I love cashews. Now I love Lärabar Cashew Cookie. YUM! I loved that you could taste the actual cashews. I loved the simpleness of the flavor. If you are a cashew fan, I HIGHLY recommend this one!


Oh yeah! That's what I'm talking 'bout! How can you go wrong with that combination of ingredients?! Ya just can't! Simplicity at it's best!

And finally, my favorite of the bunch, Lemon Bar.

Alrighty, gotta be honest here... I wasn't looking forward to this bar. LOL! However, I was VERY pleasantly surprised! It was absolutely delish! Perfectly tart! It didn't taste like lemon Pledge, which strangely, is what I was expecting. It was perfect! Cherry Pie Lärabar is still my favorite (not reviewed in this post), but this was a close second! What can I say? I like 'em tart!


OVERALL I would definitely recommend Lärabars. I have recommended them, and I will continue to do so! While a couple of the bars weren't my favorite, they still weren't bad. They just weren't my thang! The flavors that I enjoyed, BOY OH BOY, I REALLY enjoyed them!!! and I plan on buying more in the not so distant future!

The best part about these bars...
  • RAW
All that makes for one happy Genie!

For more information about Lärabar, check out their website:

Disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated with Lärabar. I was simply given these products to review on my blog.

Menu Planning Monday - 01.18.10

Hi guys! I've been lucky the past few weeks and have been able to buy mainly sale items at the grocery store. Unlike my usual make a menu then grocery list type of shopping, I have only been buying sale items that I don't necessarily need at the moment and restocking on essentials as I go. This has been working well, because I still end up with plenty in the pantry and freezer to make meals for the week.

This week's menu looks a little something like this:

Monday: chicken, broccoli, baked potato

Tuesday: Tomato soup & grilled cheese (I am out of Ezekiel bread, and since it's pricey, I will try to do without for a while. Maybe I will make a spelt loaf or something!)

Wednesday: Taco salad, no shell, with ground turkey, hummus, and black beans

Thursday: Turkey meatball subs on whole wheat hot dog buns, asparagus

Friday: chicken, broccoli, baked potato

Saturday: Olive Garden (gift card)

Sunday: HAYOOOGE chicken salad

For more meal ideas check out more menus over at OrgJunkie's Menu Planning Monday!

Heroes in a Half Shell

I'm a Shredder! Remember this guy from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles?! I used to LOVE that cartoon!

No, but for realz, because I have a girl crush on the beautiful Jillian Michaels, I bought the 30 Day Shred. I started today! So far I really really like it!! It was FUN! and the mini circuits kept me from getting bored. It wasn't the most strenuous of workouts for me, but I did level one. I didn't expect to be drenched in sweat by the end... in fact, I don't even recall sweating. HA! However, it is PERFECT for me! It is just challenging enough for me to feel like I'm doing something beneficial, and it is short enough to get my body and brain (and emotions) used to working out in the morning. I plan on seeing this through the full 30 days! I'm totally donating it to my sister-in-law once I finish it up. She'll love it! Until then, I'll keep ya posted! You can find it here in my workout log. I burned 133 calories in 20 minutes. Not groundbreaking, but not too shabby for a short workout, either!

Honestly... I am REALLY excited about doing it again tomorrow morning! That says a lot for me! Since prep has ended I have been a complete slug in the mornings.

So, that's it! I'm a Shredder and I LOVE IT! ;)

Love at first bite!

It's way past my bedtime, but I just had to RAVE about a product I was lucky enough to sample. A few (short) months ago, Sally at Newman's Own Organics, sent me an array of products to try. The stash included an assortment of chocolate bars!

Bloggerfam, meet my new favorite chocolate bar: Newman's Own Organics Mocha Milk Chocolate bar. Smooth, creamy, perfectly sweet, and wholesome ingredients. I could feel my heart melt with every bite. I would seriously pay $5 or more for a bar of this chocolatey goodness! They aren't nearly that pricey, thankfully, but DANG! These are good. I have bought several bars since! It is right up my taste bud alley, and the last time I was at Whole Foods, I bought every last one on the shelf. NO JOKE! I don't get to Whole Foods often, so I had to stock up.

If you see this bar, grab it!! Actually, grab two and mail one to me. They aren't available in my town. :) (I'm not joking. I will reimburse you. I love them THAT much!)

I see disclaimers popping up on blog reviews, so... just in case...

I am in no way affiliated with Newman's Own Organics. I was simply mailed products to try and review on my blog.

Eating Healthy on a Budget!

It can be done folks!!! I made an extra run to Kroger today, even though I knew it would set us over our weekly budget (we are still ahead of the game for the month, though!). I wanted to use up some coupons on a sale that was ending today. I know, I know, it seems like most coupons are for junk food -- it's true! but not all of them are. My biggest penny pinching tip is to pair up coupons with sales. I will hold onto the coupons until the item goes on sale then buy it. Sometimes I have multiple coupons and can stock up.

Here was today's trip. All of this was for a whopping $9.92! Take that Kroger!

10 Oikos Greek Yogurt
Price: $1ea
Coupons: $1/1 (Save $1 off 1)
Final Price: FREE!

4 Old El Paso Microwaveable Sides
Price: 4 for $5
Coupons: $0.50/1 (My local Kroger doubles all coupons up to $.50, so they were really $1/1)
Final Price: $0.25 ea

1 Bumble Bee Tuna Pouch
Price: $1.19
Coupons: $0.50/1 (double coupon)
Final Price: $0.19

4 Healthy Life Breads (2 buns, 2 loaves)
Price: $2/4
Coupons: $0.50/1 (double coupon)
Final Price: $1 ea (Kind of have buyer's remorse over this one... I'll have to freeze them.)

Finish Dishwasher Detergent
Price: $3.99ea (BOOOOOOO! Had to buy it, though. We were out!)
Coupons: $2/1
Final Price: $1.99

Grand Total: $9.92!!
Total Savings: $36.38

Daily Log

TUE 01.19.10
30 Day Shred - Lvl 2

MON 01.18.10
30 Day Shred - Lvl 1, run 1/2 mile, pullups (187)

SUN 01.17.10

30 Day Shred - Lvl 1, pushups, stretch (133)
PM: Legs (hamstring & glute focus), stretch (265)


FINALLY!!! My mojo is back! I woke up yesterday morning and felt that click. I had been half-assing "plans" on and off since my show. I'll blame the holidays for that! Just kidding. It's all my fault. If I am on, I am ON. I just have to want it!

I plan to cut this week, concentrate on cardio first, weights second, then hopefully by next Sunday I will start a slow building plan. After just one day of eating on plan, I already feel leaner! The scale didn't budge (that's okay!), but I did see some ab definition, so all is good in my little world. I have never seen abs at this weight before! GOOD STUFF! I am also happy to say that this time around, my weight seems to be distributing itself more evenly than in the past. PHEW!

"We must be careful not to let our current appetites steal away any chance we might have for a future feast." -- Jim Rohn

Fitness Freebies!

Hola! Hello! Yo! Yerba Mate!
I've gone a little crazy here in Genie Land!

I have been playfully perusing the wonderful world wide web this morning, and I managed to find some deals and freebies that I thought my Bloggerfam would enjoy! Seriously, I haz a massive list compiled.

Free EAS Bar or Shake
Head on over to EAS and register! Afterwards, ya get a printable coupon for... you guessed it!... a free EAS Bar or RTD. Click -->HERE<-- to get your loot!

Free Taco at Taco Bell
Take it easy tonight and SKIP COOKING! Taco Bell is being the bomb dot com and is offering a limited number of coupons for a FREE TACO to spread the word about their new Drive Thru Diet. Click -->HERE<-- for yours! (Becca, thought of you on this one!)

In a Pinch
While I'm not the biggest microwave dinner fan, here's a great coupon for HEALTHY CHOICE. Get $5 off 5! I'm thinking a lot of supermarkets have these "healthy" frozen meals on sale this week because it is dieting season after all! Pair these coupons up with a sale, and you have a killer deal on your hands!! Click -->HERE<--

CHEAT MEAL! Expiring Soon!!
Okay, this one isn't exactly fitness related, but it is too good to pass up! Get a FREE ARBY'S ROAST BEEF SANDWICH with a soft drink purchase! This one expires in just a couple of days, so get it while it's hot! I printed two off. Seth and I are going to each use a coupon tonight, I will donate my sandwich to him, then swing by Taco Bell for my free taco. How's that for a cheap dinner?! Click -->HERE<--

Alrighty folks, there's more where those came from, but this should get you started!

Enjoy a happy and healthy weekend! TGIF!

Blogger FAIL!

Good morning Bloggerfam!! Man, have I been MIA or what? Apparently 2010 is my year for blogging brain farts! LOL! I have things to blog about, but the words are at the tip of my tongue fingers and are stuck! So, this is just a random blog, filled with a mish-mosh of random info, in an effort to get back in my blogging groove.

Since it's a new year, let's start with resolutions.
  1. Spend $50 per week on groceries. We have been doing this for a few weeks now (Christmas dinner for the family at our house included!) with much success. This could potentially save us well over $500 a month! Unfortunately, our stash is dwindling down quickly!! To aid in this process, I am trying to incorporate the following: 2 OAMC (once a month cooking) recipes per month, 1 meatless meal a week (I'm not a huge meat fan anyways!), use what we have on hand. My first OAMC recipe was a disaster. I ended up saving it by using what we had in the cupboard, and we do have two meals of leftovers, but the recipe itself was not good. Note to self: If it is called "Poverty Meal", while the reviews may be good, proceed with caution. I turned it into a Tex-Mex type of soup. When frugal goes wrong...

  2. Set restaurant ($85/month) and entertainment ($125/month) budgets. So far, so good. It has only been a week,however, and our restaurant budget is almost shot!! LOL! Dinners at home, anyone?! We could comfortably make these more, but what's the point in that? This is supposed to be at least a bit of a challenge, right?! Disclaimer: These budgets do not include large trips.

  3. Get back on the healthy eats bandwagon. EPIC FAIL! I have a lot of fitness goals, and one of my short-term goals is get back to eating clean the majority of the week, then have only 1-2 cheat meals. I'm great during the day, but I'm not doing so hot when I get home in the evenings. I need to keep this goal in the front of my mind. I tend to conveniently forget until some Combos or cookies are in my mouth! LOL!

  4. Learn some fitness mandatories. FAIL, again!! I have always been amazed by fitness! I, however, have no intentions whatsoever in competing in fitness. Performing on stage, alone, ACK! no desire! I would fall on my face. I do want to be able to do the fitness "tricks"! This month, I will be working on my one arm pushups and all three splits!! So far I haven't done jack. I know the splits are achievable within a month. Those usually come fairly easily for me if I put in the stretching. That's just it, I have to do the work. As for the one arm pushup... I'm fairly certain that the strength is there, coordination and balance is not! I have a YouTube progression video that my friend Tasha linked me to back in the day. I will start incorporating that!

So, there you have it! My top goals for now! These may not be permanent. One thing about goals or resolutions is that you have to be flexible! If they obviously are not working, you must be willing to adapt or change the rules. I do think my goals are attainable, so let's see what happens!

Hmmmm... it appears that this blog entry did have a focus after all! Go me!! :D