Sending Me Back – To the back of the classroom.

ZUMBA!  About a year ago I joined a Zumba class offered through my city’s parks and recreation department.  I loved it, it was so much fun!  I particularly enjoyed the music which is quite different and more upbeat than the traditional aerobic tunes.  The choreography and dance moves make it even more fun.

What is it:

Zumba is a Latin dance-inspired fitness program created by dancer and choreographer Alberto “Beto” Perez in Colombia during the 1990s.[2]

Zumba involves dance and aerobic elements. Zumba’s choreography incorporates hip-hopsocasambasalsamerenguemambomartial arts, and some Bollywood and belly dance moves. Squats and lunges are also included.

Wearing my Zumba skirt. Not necessary but fun to wear. Everyone I have talked to that wears one, has expressed that the 'jingling' gives them that extra umph to take the hip shaking up a notch. 😉

I started off going to Zumba regularly for about 5 months. Then life got busy, I got lazy and stopped attending for about 8 months. Came back one day thinking I would just pick up where I left off. Thought I was a big shot and put myself at the middle to front rows of the class where I used to be. Hello, what was I thinking?! I ended up sore and misaligning my hips and lower back for three weeks!

This week I gave it another try, I came back as a newbie and put myself at the very back of the class – the last row. Where I belonged. I took it slow, modified my steps and form, walked in place when I needed to. I didn’t get embarrassed when the class went left and I went right. Actually, every time that happened it made me laugh!

I know with commitment and perseverance one day I will be back to the front of the class.

Make sure to wear comfortable shoes. They have shoes made specifically for Zumba. The ones I wear are the same ones a lot of dance teachers wear at ballet studios and such. They are split sole to make it easier to point and flex your foot. They also have a fairly smooth bottom to be able to glide and switch directions easily.

I hope if you get the opportunity you will give Zumba a try. It is a fun workout – plenty of sweating and fun shaking those hips. And don’t be afraid to go at your own pace!

Ready for class...


Beauty & Charm – My Title Inspiration

I love all things vintage, and I love to read.  Combining the two, I started to collect vintage magazines.  My favorites are women’s, children and homemaking magazines.  I love the graphics, the pictures, the stories of eras past. I enjoy a peek at what life and issues were like for other women and families in our country.  I especially love the fashions of the past.  One of the magazines I had in my stash was this one:

As I was enjoying looking thru it, the following ad caught my eye:  ‘Ooooh, wouldn’t it be neat to be able to actually look thru that book?!’

So I started to search for it, and yay, I was able to acquire a copy!  I couldn’t believe my luck! Oh my I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it.

I have had it now for a couple of years and I just love it. Every time I pick it up I come away with something new and positive. I especially enjoy it because it’s not a shallow beauty book at all. If anything it is filled with tips and advice that can be applied to today’s lifestyle as well as from the 50’s. The core of this book is making the most of the assets you were born with, making the most of what you have – for giving and sharing with others. No matter what season in life you are in you can appreciate it, develop it and embrace it.  Thus you will be giving the best of yourself to those around you, touching and blessing them. And c’mon, it’s a vintage beauty book – what’s not charming about that, lol?!

Here’s a bite-sized sample from the book, hopefully you’ll see what I mean:

“Developing the feeling of beauty.  Some things that create and bolster it: 

Enjoy being alive:  Make a conscious effort to enjoy living – the actual life processes of eating, breathing, walking, sleeping. Stretch and relax, breathe deeply, and think yourself into being a complete physical entity – resourceful, happy, glad to be alive.

Be sensitive to beauty:  Respond fully to the world about you – let life touch you through your senses – smell, touch, taste, sight and hearing.

Enjoy new experiences:  Look at everything, and do things as if you had never seen them or done them before. Talk to people and listen to them, enjoy them.

Do sweet things:  The act of giving – whether it be a smile, good advice, writing a letter, or an actual gift – does more than a lipstick to bolster the feeling of beauty.

Talk beauty:  Open your thoughts to others – because only through human relationships can your inward beauty develop and grow. Allow others to know you and get to know them – it will help you to know yourself.”

My wish is that when you come and visit my blog you will be encouraged to find beauty and charm in the simple things in life.

Bridges and Pathways

There is something charming and serene about bridges and pathways.  They are both made for a utilitarian purpose yet there is something exciting about going over a bridge or thru a pathway.  It’s a feeling of finding out where it leads to, what is at the end, the other side.  In my neighborhood we are fortunate enough to have a bridge close to us.  It lights up at night and my kids love to ride their scooters over it.  Even though we know what is on the other end it is still fun to go over it. At any one time you might spy little creatures like wild bunnies, lizards, squirrels, hummingbirds and burrowing owls.  Even the not so little creatures – coyotes.

'Oooh what do I see?'

How can you capture the charm of a bridge in your own yard? A landscape bridge! Here is one from a neighbor’s yard. Every time I walk by it I can’t help but admire it. This one is placed where you can’t actually walk over it without trampling the greenery.  One day, when my budget allows I am planning to get one for our yard and  put a little walkway or some stepping-stones leading to it.

A lovely little landscape bridge.

This is Alternate Text

Following pathways...

A formal pathway...

Reaching serenity...

From a child’s eyes bridges and pathways lead to adventure and discovery. For us as adults it is the bridges and pathways of life that lead us to adventure and discovery.  May you enjoy a serene walk…

10 Cups And A Brita

My doctor stressed to me the importance of hydration.  How it was absolutely essential for overall good health to drink an average of 8-10 cups of water daily.  Thankfully this is one habit I had already started.  We never buy soda to just drink and have in our household.  We reserve soda buying for when we have parties or host dinner guests.  We also make sure our juices are 100% natural juice.  When we go out to eat we always request ice water.  Not only is it a healthier alternative to soft drinks but it also keeps our dinner bill down.  At an average of $2 per glass x 8 of us this is a significant savings of $ and empty calories.  My kids have no qualms about this.  Once in a while if we are eating out a special meal they may request a soft drink.  Once in a while is the key word.  There is nothing like an ice-cold Coke to go with a burger and fries.  But just when I’m tempted to order one, I tell myself to get the water and if I really miss the Coke with the burger then I can go back for it.  You can guess what usually happens – I end up not missing the soft drink at all!

So here is what I do everyday to closely gauge that I am getting my 8 – 10 cups of water.  I  bought myself a Brita brand 10 cup pitcher.  I love it because it is exactly 10 cups and it has  a filter so I can use regular tap water and it will taste like bottled water.  Sorry, I just can’t stand the taste of regular tap water or drinking fountains.  So every morning I fill up my  pitcher and it sits on my kitchen counter where I can easily see it and pour myself a cup of water through out the day.  I can also easily take it upstairs if I plan to spend some time up there and it is still within easy access.  I imagine it would work great also if I worked someplace like an office. I would just take the empty pitcher with me to work, fill it up with regular tap water and drink away.  By the end of the day I can clearly see that yes I have drunk my healthy water quota.  No guessing required.

I bought my Brita pitcher at Bed, Bath and Beyond.  I think it’s reasonably priced and with the addition of my 20% off coupon – even better!  I buy my filters there also.  This week I picked up a new box and the store let me use two coupons.  One for $5 off and a 20% off total, plus the filters came with a $4 mail-in rebate.  And one of the coupons expired sometime last year and they still honored it.  I love good service and good deals!  Brita also makes an individual water bottle that comes with a little filter.  This way you are able to take your water bottle wherever you go and be able to fill it with regular fountain water.  This is a huge plus for someone like me who is a water snob.  And the water bottle is priced at only $9 – $10 bucks and you can use a coupon at BB&B.

No more excuses why not to have your water handy at all times and drink to your good health.  How do you stay well hydrated? Feel free to share your tips.  🙂

Medical Weight-Loss – Let the journey begin.

Well, I have signed myself up for a medically supervised weight loss program.  I have never been on a diet or special program before to  lose weight.  Actually I have never even lost weight before except  maybe by a couple of pounds here and there, at the most.  Over the course of my child-bearing years, I have managed to steadily gain weight in-between pregnancies.  For the last four years or so I have been able to maintain my current high weight.  I have generally been able to hover at this weight by making somewhat good choices such as avoiding soft drinks, minimizing sweets (hard!) and drinking lots of water.  But as good as these small choices are, I still had not committed to consciously and purposely shedding my excess weight.

When I went into the doctor’s office this week it was for a general well-being checkup and to talk about some of my aches and pains.  Well guess what?  All my woes kept coming back to basically two solutions – the need to exercise and lose weight.  My doctor let me know that if I don’t do something now, ten years from now I will be in bad shape.  And you know, 10 years is really not that long, and before you know it, it’s here because time flies.  Everything my doctor told me, not only made sense, but I already knew.  The short of it is that I have not made the time and commitment to take care of myself right.  Frankly, I have not wanted to make the effort to exercise let alone go to the gym.  It takes time to exercise and I’ve got other things I’d rather do, and need to do. Heck, I haven’t made time for breakfast for myself the last couple of decades why would I want to take the time to exercise?  It’s much easier to clean the house, do laundry, stand on my feet forever washing dishes and cooking.  Doesn’t that count for exercise?!  You would think it would, wouldn’t you?!  But darn it I finally have to face the fact that it doesn’t, which sucks since I do it everyday!

Having been to my doctor’s office before I had already seen the subtle signs that they offered a weight loss program.  Since I was already there and feeling motivated I decided to inquire about it.  I started thinking, what the heck, what do I have to lose?  Except a lot of weight of course, lol!  I decided you know what, it would be good for me to have some professional guidance and an actual program to follow for the next three months.  Maybe this is the umph I needed to make the commitment to myself and take better care of my physical health and fitness.

So here I am about to put one foot in front of the other and see if this will really work.  Will I be able to succeed,  get active (and enjoy it), eat well and develop other healthful, long-term habits?  Come along with me and we will learn and see…..