How To: Recover from a Cold

If you’d like to give back to your Community, you still have time to win my $100 Visa Giftcard Giveaway.

Oh Friends, cold and flu season is here! I’m on day 8 of what should be my last cold of 2014. Today I’m sharing 5 things that help ease the pain.

tylenolpm1. Tylenol PM. God Bless this medication. I didn’t take it last night hoping I was getting better and saw my clock read 1:38, 3:38, 4:38, before getting up at 4:58 to teach Yoga Sculpt. Tonight I will be taking the Tylenol PM again.


  1. Peppermint Oil. I cover myself in this magic oil. Back, chest, nose, feet, I don’t take chances. But I do wash my hands after applying. You do not want to get this in your eye, and be careful around your nose… can get intense.

hallscherrycoughdrops3. Halls Cough Drops: Cherry. Always the cherry ones, they don’t taste good, but they do the trick. I had one in my mouth the entire hour of yoga sculpt. I was determine to teach class and not cancel.

Pre Yoga Sculpt(not my studio, but a selfie from another yoga sculpt class)

  1. Sweat, Appropriately. I didn’t cancel my yoga classes because I don’t have a sub available for my 5:30 am classes. But I did skip a pool workout, spin class, and running. I have felt better at the end of every class than I did before I began. But if you want to be extra careful, do some light stretching at home. Even that will make you feel a bit better.

airborne5. Hydrate Hydrate Hydrate! Water in the morning, my normal coffee, Emergen-C at work, more water, sparkling water, Emergen-C before coaching, sparkling water and orange juice with dinner, more water, Candy Cane Lane Tea from Trader Joe’s in bed. And bedtime should be 8:30 ish. I might not have fallen asleep until 10, but that resting time was important.


Moscato Christmas Sangria

While we’re in the middle of the week, let’s go back to Sunday when I got to be with friends, eat, and drink the easiest 3 Ingredient* Moscato Christmas Sangria.

Created with with my blends Emily, Shelly, Amanda, and Mellissa. My recipe is based off this Holiday Sangria.  However without being able to purchase alcohol in Minnesota on Sundays, I couldn’t add triple sec.So oranges were added instead.

moscato christmas sangriaIngredients:

  1. 2-Liter bottle of Cranberry Sierra Mist
  2. 750 ml bottle of Moscato, or other sweet white.
  3. Fruit* (can easily add more as I did, but it wasn’t necessary).

I started with preparing the fruit. I used a chopped apple, sliced pear, the previously mentioned orange and pomegranate seeds. For all the work the pomegranate was, it got lost with the other fruit, I would skip it next time.

3 step sangriaI loved the sliced pear because it was easy to grab and munch on without your fingers going in the drink. The chopped apples were easy to sip and chew. I liked having those two fruits cut differently, so you knew which you were eating.

It made no sense to me to have diet Cranberry juice, and simple syrup in a recipe. So instead I went with Cranberry Sierra Mist. The added carbonation was a nice touch. In the interest of saving money, I skipped the pomegranate juice and cranberries.

Most Sangria’s have the wine mixed in with the fruit and extra liquid. However, I kept the wine separate so each person could mix their own drink, and exclude alcohol if they preferred.

Do you provide multiple beverages at parties (aka traditional bar cart)? Or do you have a signature drink and a few other non-alcoholic options?

The $100 Visa Gift Card Giveway is open until Monday!


Peace Perspective XLIX: To The Chaos

In the final weeks of 2014 I’m trying to finish out my thoughts on Peace before we have a new year and a new outlook. I haven’t announced my word for 2015, but I’ve started my new Pinterest board. Can you guess what it is?

Peace to the ChaosIf you click the above picture it will bring you to the She Reads Truth blog post where I found this photo. I definitely err on the side of busy and moving and not resting. Which is why I needed Peace for 2014. I needed to take a breath, see the good, and let things unfold without meddling. And I do feel that God brought peace to my chaos. Sometimes life is still busy, but I can still find a quite moment or two, whether its when I come home after dance and slowly eat dinner, or as I make my coffee in the morning, and read through new blog posts. Life may not have peace every moment of every day, but I have been able to find a moment of peace each day.

Where do you find Peace? Can you find it on a daily basis?

If you haven’t enter to win a $100 Visa Gift Card, you can do so here.


Live On, Give On, $100 Giveaway!

Today is a Medtronic sponsored post with a fantastic giveaway, so keep reading for how you could win a $100 Visa Gift Card!.

The last couple weeks have been extra busy as I’m volunteering for the local high school’s dance teams again. We had a competition last Saturday, and another one this Saturday. It is especially fun to work with the youngest team as they are learning new skills each week. It’s important to me to give back to the community as being on the dance team taught me about respect, time management, and working with others.Dance Coach FeetThe Bakken Invitation by Medtronic has 10 honorees who have continued to Live On and Give On despite having a health challenge. There were submissions from around the world, but I’m inspired by Gretchen Merritt a Minnesota girl who is raising awareness for Freedom Firm while managing her type 1 diabetes.

“In 2007, I started volunteering with Freedom Firm, after learning about the issue of sex trafficking. I first volunteered in India to directly serve girls who were trafficked and then continued to volunteer back in the U.S. by help raising funds, recruiting volunteers and educating others about modern day slavery. I joined Freedom Firm full-time in 2009, becoming their first employee based in the United States. For nearly six years, I worked to raise awareness, raise funds, work with volunteers, and educate the community about trafficking.

One of my readers will be given a $100 Visa Gift Card to make a positive impact in their community. I know how I would spend $100! The High School I coach at has made great improvements to their weight room since I graduated in 2006. However, there is still a need to make the space more welcoming to beginner athletes.

Typical High School Weight RoomThe weights below are what is available at the Yoga Studio I teach at, and what I see available at the YMCA, as well as other community weight rooms. The coated weights feel nicer, and the lighter sizes allow anyone to start strengthening their muscles, no matter what their starting point is.

Weight Lifting for BeginnersI feel that the earlier people are introduced to exercising and strengthening their bodies, the more likely they are to live healthier, happier lives. I also feel that when people feel good about themselves, they are more likely to reach out and do more for others, as Gretchen is showing us. While the lack of accessible weights doesn’t anger me, the idea that someone wants to be healthier, but doesn’t have the tools to do so, does.

Gretchen Merritt MedtronicYou must leave a comment through the rafflecopter below to be considered for the $100 Visa Gift Card. In the comment, make sure you answer both questions: 1. What Story most inspired you? 2. How would you spend $100 to give back to your community?

There is an additional entry for following me on twitter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you so much to Medtronic for creating the 2014 Bakken Invitation Award, and sponsoring this giveaway.

The prize will be shipped the week of January 5 or January 12. Participants must be 18 years or older and be US based.


Looking Forward: Saving Money

As 2014 wraps up, I thought I’d look back on my original Dirty Dozen 2012 New Years Resolutions, specifically #8 “Save Money.” In 2012 I lived alone and had a corporate job that included a vehicle. The perks were wonderful, but the drive time definitely got to me.

Snow in AprilIn 2013 I moved home and my expenses were much smaller, health care was the biggest change. Paying for my own insurance definitely isn’t exciting, but its a reality. Saving money didn’t come as easily. When I found the 52 Week Money Challenge through Outside My Head, I knew I had to give it a try!

52 Week Money Challenge_ChartInstead of making 52 separate transfers from my checking to my savings, I made a monthly transfer. January’s savings were so easy it felt silly. I think I even rounded up, just to give myself a bump. Some month’s I had to juggle a little and make sure to do the transfer after payday. But I made it happen. This year’s savings covered the expense of my road bike!

Save Money to Buy Trek BikeGoing into 2015 I plan on making monthly transfers again, but this time doubling the amount. I’m not sure I’ll be able to swing it at the end of the year, but in the first few months I want the extra challenge/savings.

How to Save Money in 2015If I was feeling really ambitious, I could follow this schedule, and secure $3000.00 for myself going into 2016, but I’m not sure if it will happen.

Save Lots of Money in 2015Do you have a savings strategy? Or are you learning as you go?


Peace Perspective XLVIII: Little Fighter

If you had told me this last year, I would have had a lot of questions for you.

fighterWhat makes it get brighter? The sun? A flashlight? Will it get darker before it gets brighter? Is brighter better?

Things are good this year. I’m finally living in that brighter time. This fall was especially bright. I did so many fun things with different friends. This winter is a little different. I’m busy with volunteering for the High School dance team. Which I love, but makes managing time for family and friends a little more difficult. My biggest availability is Sundays, which I’ve usually used as quiet time to prepare for the coming week.

Have you ever had that dark period? How long did it take for the light to come? Feel free to blog about it using the above Pinterest find, and link up back here!


Giveaway Winner and Fast Friday

Hello Friends! I’m popping in quick to let DeNae know that she won my Give Thanks Giveway! Send me your address via email to and I’ll get the Balance Bar’s in the mail next week!

thanksgivingwinnerYou really should head over to her blog, she just moved to Colorado, and each photo makes me want to move there too!

Have a great weekend! I’ll be back Sunday with a Peace Perspective, this time including a linkup! (If I set it up correctly ((fingers crossed))).




St. Paul Turkey Trot 10k 2014

Twas the morning of thanksgiving, and all through the crowd, people were checking their sanity, and ready to run. (I’m not a poet).

Turkey Trot 10k St Paul Start LineMy Aunt’s family attended the race last year and invited me to participate. While some of them don’t run often, they are natural athletes and I knew they’d be faster than me. But with the cold weather we all did our own race. I started the run with my cousin, but at one point I got caught behind some people while she weaved through the crowd faster than me. (below photo where we wondered why we were awake and doing this).

Crazy Winter RunningI passed the 11:30 min/mile pacer and figured they would catch back up to me eventually. As that has been about my pace the last couple weeks. I knew I was running faster than that, and I knew that I wasn’t going to hold it for 6.2 miles.

Thankfully my watch was under multiple layers, so I couldn’t see my pace at any point during the race. After the second mile I gave up on seeing my relatives and started slowing down. The turn around at mile 3 was welcome, as was the water.

Mile 4 was tough. I was slow, cold, and questioning why I signed up when I knew my family runs faster than me. I wondered why I bothered to continue to do these races, I paid $40 for the race and it wasn’t telling me anything I didn’t already know. I’m most comfortable at a 12 min mile, for about 4 miles. The only thing that kept me from walking the last 2 miles was knowing the the faster I was done, the sooner I could sit on my grandma’s couch.

Meeting up with the 5k race actually helped. Instead of being irritated that I needed to bob and weave around them. I embraced their energy. They were moving at a faster pace, and the 10k crowd had been thin before they merged in. The finish line was crowded. There was no clear direction on where the 5k medals, 10k medals, or food was. I weaved through the crowd for the 10k medal, took a quick picture and found my family members. We were going to get coffee right there, but it was too crowded so we drove towards my grandparent’s house and stopped at a different caribou.

Caribou Coffee and Turkey Trot MedalThe ginger snap mocha is a new favorite of mine! So sugary that I shouldn’t have had a medium, but it kept me full until the Thanksgiving feast that afternoon. And while we enjoyed our caribou, I pulled up my Race Page, and found that my last 10k (and also my first 10k was back in January 2013), despite my negative self talk during the St. Paul Turkey Trot, I managed to beat that time and get a PR!


November 2014 Recap

One Winter Month Down! Only…..I have no clue how many more mother nature will throw at us. As usual, here’s the links to a few of my favorite posts from the past month. Starting with Walking Fall 2014 Goodbye.

Leaf Tennis Shoe November RecapI gave out a lot of personal details this month: A Day in the Life, Horoscope, Dating, and a general Q & A.

Taurus Horoscope NewspaperI only posted about workouts twice, in Benefits of a Triathlon Group and Couch to 5k Completed!

Smiling RunnerAlso, if you’re looking for November 2013 recap, which I did….You won’t find it. Last year was pretty crummy and instead of recapping the month, I did a Hello December post instead!

Peace Perspective XLVII: Journey for 2015

While Thanksgiving has passed, and Christmas is still 25 days away, I’m thinking about New Years. For the last 4 years I’ve know what my fitness New Years Resolution was going to be long before November. This year I haven’t been as focused.

Peace JourneyI like to think that not knowing what my big goal is it will allow me to go on a journey I can’t even imagine. That prospect seems scary, but hopefully there is a reason for my indecision.

Do you have a New Years Resolution for 2015 yet? Will you think of one?