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Thursday, March 30, 2017

Weight Loss Update

size 6 jeans
I haven't posted in awhile about my weight loss journey. Been so focused on running my 2,017 miles that I haven't taken the time to see in the mirror my progress.

A friend gifted me a pair of new jeans not long ago. They were a size 6. I didn't think I would fit in them but when I tried them on, they did and very comfortably. You can see me in them above.

It's been a long journey to get where I am today. From everything that I've done and between the things I've tried and failed, I know one thing that has ALWAYS worked!

Exercising and monitoring my food intake.

Two simple things to pay attention to and most often are neglected. I use MyFitnessPal app on my phone. It's so easy to have there and quick to log my food as I eat throughout the day. The best part of this app is if you happen to eat something in a package there is a barcode scanner and VOILA it has all the info placed in your log for you.

I also use MapMyRun or you can use MapMyFitness or MapMyWalk since they are all the same. I log all my activity onto this and it transfers over to my food journal.

Since January 1st, logging the miles has really helped me build muscle and lean down. For the longest time the scale wasn't moving but I was getting smaller so that kept me going.  I started at 134 lbs at the New Year. I stepped on the scale this week and I'm down to 126.8 lbs.

I haven't been this small since when I met my husband 20 years ago so I'm super excited. At this point anything I lose is a huge bonus... Now it's all about toning, maintaining and building physical endurance to get me across the finish line of my half marathon in May.

Starting April 1st I will be adding more strength training to my weekly workouts so I can tone up what's left and help build muscle so I can run longer distances.. Can't wait to share with you as I progress...

Boob, Bowling & Zelda Cakes

I made my husband a boob cake for his birthday this year. He's been hint joking about this kind of cake for a couple years but I felt a little weird making one. I decided to give it a go and here you go..
boob cake collage 1
I think it turned out pretty good. He really liked it so that's an A+ in my book.

bowling cake collage
My son just turned 18 this month. He wanted to have his friends over to go bowling so I made him a bowling cake. I absolutely LOVE how it turned out.. Super excited about learning how to use fondant..

zelda cake

I made my youngest son a Zelda cake for his 15th birthday back in December. This was a buttercream frosted cake.

500 Miles and Counting...

Medal earned

I posted back the first of January that I was taking on a year long challenge to run/walk 2,017 miles in 2017. I had great intentions to post weekly on my journey but life tends to keep me off the computer.  Well we are finishing up the third month of 2017 and I am happy to say that I reached 500 miles three days ago. It has been a huge accomplishment to see this number. In 2016 I ran/walked 600 miles in the entire year and here I am in just the third month and have almost hit that number.

500 miles

One thing that has kept me going is I'm training for my very first half marathon. This will take place on May 21st. I am 8 weeks away from this special occasion and working hard to do my best.

Speaking of best... I'm super excited about sharing my 1st race of the year's results. I ran a 5K Clover Bud St. Patrick's Day Race a couple weeks ago with my hubby. This race was my first ever back in 2011 when I just started out running so it has a little sentimental value to it.

With all my running training I wanted to see how good I could run this. In the past my average was about 12 1/2 min miles. This time I did it in 32:59 which averaged a little over 10 minute miles. Not only did I add speed, but was able to run this without stopping and have little issues.. It was awesome!

The best part... I actually WON a medal. I was 2nd in my age division..

5k race collage

My next race is coming up on April 9th. It's a color fun run so not really out to break records since these are mainly to get messy. Still will try to work on my timing since these events are good at checking times..

Here is a list of my races that I've signed up for up until my Half Marathon in mid May..

April 9th: Color Fun Run 5K
April 15th: Trail Run 5K
April 23rd: Icebreaker 5 Mile
May 6th: Color Fun Run 5K
May 20th: Half Marathon

It's going to be a busy Spring Running Schedule. I am happy to see this many races to choose from since my area typically is limited with races throughout the year. Mainly one a month so I'm excited about the line up..

Here's to my next 100 miles.....

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

The Polygamist's Daughter by Anna LeBaron Review

Packaging

The Polygamist's Daughter
by Anna LeBaron
w/ Leslie Wilson

About This Book:

My father had thirteen wives and more than fifty children . . .

This is the haunting memoir of Anna LeBaron, daughter of the notorious polygamist and murderer Ervil LeBaron. Ervil’s criminal activity kept Anna and her siblings constantly on the run from the FBI. Often starving, the children lived in a perpetual state of fear—and despite their numbers, Anna always felt alone. Would she ever find a place she truly belonged? Would she ever be anything other than the polygamist’s daughter?

Filled with murder, fear, and betrayal, The Polygamist’s Daughter is the harrowing, heart-wrenching story of a fatherless girl and her unwavering search for love, faith, and a place to call home.

My Thoughts on This Book:

This book was an eye opening experience and I read it in just one day. Once I picked it up her story was so riveting, I couldn't put it down until the end. You follow the life of little Anna. Just 9 years old when the story starts and living the life of polygamy with her mother, her mother's sister wives and over 40 siblings. The life of fear, death, looking over your shoulder and living in foreign countries, Anna lived a life of poverty so her mother could continue her life as the 4th wife of the famous Ervil LeBaron. Left to fend for herself and at times a child slave worker, she endured huge hardship for the sake of her families chosen life. Her father, a man who believed himself to be a prophet, lived his life to find followers and to cause harm to those that fell away from his religion even after his death.

Anna lived a life on the run, packing up frequently and with little personal possessions. By the age of 10 she found out that he father wanted to marry her off to another polygamist and was being groomed to do so when she was older. This story of a little girl searching for love and a desire to be wanted, grew up faster than she should of and saw more than any child or adult should see. This story will truly pull at your heartstrings.. Faith plays a huge factor in Anna's adult life with the ultimate grace of God.. Great book!

I received a copy of this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. The words depicting in this article are my own. No other compensation was given to me.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

A Stolen Heart by Amanda Cabot Review

A Stolen Heart  -     By: Amanda Cabot

"A Stolen Heart"
by Amanda Cabot
Book 1 Cimarron Creek Trilogy

About This Book:

From afar, Cimarron Creek seems like an idyllic town tucked in the Texas Hill Country. But when former schoolteacher Lydia Crawford steps onto its dusty streets in 1880, she finds a town with a deep-seated resentment of Northerners--like her. Lydia won't let that get her down, though. All will be well when she's reunited with her fiancé. But when she discovers he has disappeared--and that he left behind a pregnant wife--Lydia is at a loss about what to do next. The handsome sheriff urges her to trust him, but can she trust anyone in this town where secrets are as prevalent as bluebonnets in spring?

Bestselling author Amanda Cabot invites readers back into Texas's storied past to experience love and adventure against a backdrop of tension and mystery in this first book in a brand-new series.

My Thoughts on This Book:

As we venture in this first book in the Cimarron Creek series we get to know Lydia, a Yankee from New York coming to Texas to marry her fiance'. Until she realizes he has already married and he's missing. Lydia decides to stay in Cimarron Creek even if it's just to find out what happened to Edgar. She didn't realize that she was in the middle of a town mystery. Things aren't right and the new sheriff is trying eagerly to put an end to all the crime and place order back in their small town.

One thing leads to another and love and mystery are full in this wonderful first book by Amanda Cabot. You will not want to put it down until you've read the last page and even then you can't wait to read the next one. I know I am..

About The Author:

Amanda Cabot is the bestselling author of At Bluebonnet Lake, In Firefly Valley, and On Lone Star Trail, as well as the Texas Dreams series, the Westward Winds series, and Christmas Roses. Her books have been finalists for the ACFW Carol Awards and the Booksellers' Best. She lives in Wyoming. Learn more at www.amandacabot.com.

I received a copy of this book free by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given and all my thoughts and comments regarding this book is my own.

Monday, March 20, 2017

The Elusive Miss Ellison by Carolyn Miller Review

The Elusive Miss Ellison (Regency Brides: A Legacy of Grace, #1)

About This Book:

"Handsome appearance counts for naught unless matched by good character and actions."  
That's the firm opinion of not-so-meek minister's daughter Lavinia Ellison. So even though all the other villagers of St. Hampton Heath are swooning over the newly returned seventh Earl of Hawkesbury, she is not impressed. If a man won't take his responsibilities seriously and help those who are supposed to be able to depend on him, he deserves no respect from her. In Lavinia's pretty, gray eyes, Nicholas Stamford is just as arrogant and reckless as his brother--who stole the most important person in Livvie's world.
Nicholas is weighed down by his own guilt and responsibility, by the pain his careless brother caused, and by the legacy of war he's just left. This quick visit home to St. Hampton Heath will be just long enough to ease a small part of that burden. Asking him to bother with the lives of the villagers when there's already a bailiff on the job is simply too much to expect. 
That is, until the hoydenish, intelligent, and very opinionated Miss Ellison challenges him to see past his pain and pride. With her angelic voice in his head, he may even be beginning to care. But his isn't the only heart that needs to change.
These two lonely hearts may each have something the other needs. But with society's opposition, ancestral obligations, and a shocking family secret, there may be too many obstacles in their way.
Fans of Georgette Heyer, Lori Wick, and Julie Klassen will enjoy the spirited exchanges between the bluestocking minister's daughter and the bruised war hero as they move past pride and presumption to a humbled appreciation of God's grace and the true strength of love. 

My Thoughts on This Book:

Set in the early 1800's in Great Britain, this charming story tells the tale of a reverend's daughter Miss Lavinia Ellison. After tragedy hits her at a young age and losing her mother, her heart is a bit hardened towards the family responsible. When the brother shows up and tries to charm his way into her life she holds a wall up with her whitty come backs and her charismatic expression.

She devotes her life in helping the poor in her little country village and tries to enjoy her simple life without a beau or prospect of one. Can Nicholas, Lord Hawkesbury, show her she is worthy of attention and love or will her feelings of his family and her mother cause her not to find true love..
A well written story. The characters came to life on the pages and found myself often chuckling at their ways of speaking to each other. I look forward to the rest of the books in the series.

About the Author:

Carolyn Miller lives in New South Wales, Australia, with her husband and four children. A longtime lover of Regency romance, Carolyn's previous novels have won several contests, including the 2014 RWA "Touched by Love" and 2014 ACFW Gensis contests. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and My Book Therapy.


I received a copy of this book for the purpose of review. My thoughts on this book were my own and I received no other compensation for this review.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Senior High Class of 2017

I have been hard at work preparing for my son's upcoming graduation. In November I took on the roll of the Homeschool Graduation Coordinator since the one that was doing it for years 'retired' with her youngest graduating. I figured I could coordinate until my youngest graduates in 2020. This year it's my middle child, DS18 that is graduating in mid May.

Coordinating has brought on a LOT of to do lists, since we have 20 graduates this year.. A good size Homeschool Graduation! Aside from getting the group together, lists checked off, I needed to take the time to think of just my graduate..

So over the weekend I took him out to take his Senior Photos. I am showing you the ones I found to be my favorite.. What are your thoughts?

Pittstop Photography is my copyright and all photos are owned by me..

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Hopefully here in the next week or two the cap and gown will be in from our order and will take him out one more time to capture the famous cap/gown photos.. I think these turned out great displaying his love of his guitar... So proud of his accomplishments and look forward to his special event soon!