About Lexa

Eternal optimist, always wearing a smile. Must haves: sunshine, fitness (jogging, weight training, & CrossFit), reading, good food, writing, music, and fun with family and friends.

There Is Something Good In Every Day

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Image courtesy of One Perfect Day Blog via Pinterest

If you follow my blog, you have probably noticed fewer posts in the past month. It happens every year this time.  Everyone in the house is back to the daily grind.  Work, school, football practice, homework, gym, game day… repeat….

Six games into football season, B’Dazzle’s JV team is kicking butt.  With a record of 5 wins and 1 loss, the team is undoubtedly headed to the playoffs.

What that really means is that in November, when evening/night temps in South Jersey drops below 40, momma dukes will be sporting a ski bib, boots, a wool hat, fluffy scarf, and wrapped (me and my chair)  in my big, ragged, but  warm pink blanket.   I get funny looks, but I would rather get the funny looks than be cold.

Yeah I know.  I can sit in the warm car, but for me, it’s not the same.  Roughing it out on the field with him is my way of showing my support.

This week we celebrated B’Dazzle’s 12th Birthday.

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Breakfast with dad, surprise birthday cake, fun at Dave & Buster’s, and cupcakes on the football field, makes for a week of happy days.  #100HappyDaysChallenge #100HappyDaysChallenge4Lexa #Day42

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What’s brewing?

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Remember… I LOVE chocolate…   Lol!!  :)

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While at The Vitamin Store replenishing my protein powder, I took a quick detour down the loose leaf tea aisle.  Why do I prefer loose leaf tea? Read this and this. Looking to try a new flavor, I read each box on each shelf.  “Chocolate Chai!”  There was no way I was going to walk out the store without this box in hand.

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 Here is the back of the box. As I write this, I am sipping the tea and trying to find the words to describe the flavor.  Umm… let’s see… it’s spicy, bold..   Now I’m sloshing it around in my mouth like I’m wine tasting!  In the center of my tongue I feel like I’m teased with a subtle hint of cocoa… just enough to suggest chocolate. After swallowing the tea, my pallet is saturated with a spicy flavor.  It’s delicious.  I like it!  I’m happy I tried it. The tea is a perfect end to a long day. Boy have I come a long ways from drinking a nightly glass of Cabernet before bed.  Lol!!

Anyways, tea will keep me in my happy mode over the anticipated brutally cold winter. #100HappyDaysChallenge #Day43

IMG_3242.JPGI have wanted shrimp for a week or so now. Late afternoon rain caused football to be cancelled.  No complaints here!  Although a crock pot full of homemade black beans was in the fridge, I took a few minutes to cook this spicy dish.  Shrimp, arugula, and baby spinach over brown rice.  It had kick and I enjoyed every bite!
#100HappyDaysChallenge #Day44

I could be cranky now because I have not worked out in 22 days and it’s driving me nuts. Although I feel physically ready to start again, I have to wait for clearance from my doctor. Meanwhile, I continue to eat clean and drink plenty of water. When I step back into the gym, the beast is coming out!  Watch out, I have my eyes set on another figure competition in 2015!

Thanks for stopping by and sweet dreams! :)

 

Happy Days!

I had a slight setback on my #100HappyDays challenge, but, for me, happiness is a state of mind, so I will not let working and B’Dazzle’s football season allow me to give up. Lol!

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$2.99 a gallon for gas!!  Praise the Lord!  Jersey hasn’t seen this a long time.  Who wouldn’t be happy about this?!  #100HappyDaysChallenge4Lexa #100HappyDaysChallenge #Day37

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Who says you can’t wear sun dresses in October?  I’m still rockin mine and my Havana twists styled by my favorite salon owner, Victoria at KinHairitage!  #100HappyDaysChallenge #Day38IMG_3153.JPGHubby surprised me with a pan of broiled turkey chops!  Heeeey!  The were delicious!  They tasted like I cooked them.  He’s a good student… I guess I taught him well!  Lol!!   #100HappyDaysChallenge #Day39

Thank God Tomorrow is Friday because I’m beat and still have to get to the football field.  :)

Hump Day Inspiration

Happy Hump Day!

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Three Simple Rules In Life

Happy Sunday! :)

go after what you want

If you do not GO after what you want, you’ll never have it. – Sitting around wishing, or worse, talking about what you’re gonna do (without action), isn’t going to get you anywhere or any closer to your personal or professional goals.

I get the fear factor situation because I too once allowed fear to nearly alter my destiny.

I stood outside of the meeting room door, paralyzed by fear, waiting for my turn to audition for a Trainer’s position.  My head and heart both desperate for the much-needed career change.

Stomach knotted, heart racing, and a wicked urge to use the bathroom. Deep inside my head two whispering voices spoke.

What if you look stupid?  What if you fail?  You have never done this before? They are going to laugh at you!

How did I get myself in this situation?  How do I get myself out?

I stand. Walk to the water fountain, sip some water and sit down again.  Bonnie (Training Director) steps out of the room,

We are ready for you.  Come in when you are ready.

I acknowledge her but grow more afraid.  Another trip to the water fountain. My hand touches the door to enter the room, but fear prevents me from opening the door.

I turn around and walk toward the exit sign.

 I can’t do this.

The other voice stops me again.

You can do this!  What’s the worse thing that can happen?

To this day, I don’t remember how many sips it took me to muster up the courage to follow through with the audition, but I am glad I did.

I walked in the room and faked every ounce of confidence like I’d presented a dozen times before.  Prior to my audition, I’d never done public speaking, but they did not know this.  I presented to executives and mid-level managers.

To assess my ability to deal with typical training situations, they enjoyed acting out roles of employees who had bad attitudes, who did not speak English, or who just did not want to be there.

I remember laughing a few times, because the scenarios were funny. At the conclusion, I was relieved and happy that I followed through.

Later I was told, I was one of the top three candidates.  A month later, I got a phone call. Although they enjoyed my presentation, the company’s policy to hire from within, broke the tie.   While disappointed, the experience was a confidence booster and life changing.

I quit my job (working a good 60-70 hours per week), but continued night college classes. We (me, hubby, and our young daughter) went to Disney.

After a much-needed vacation, I took a holiday seasonal job selling Elizabeth Arden cosmetics at Macy’s.

Stay with me…

Two days before Christmas in a crowded cosmetic and fragrance department, a woman approaches me.

Hi!  Aren’t you the woman that applied for the trainer’s position at Trop back in August?!?

Yes, I did. Why?

Someone left the department and they wanted to contact you but cannot find your paperwork!  Are you still interested in the job?

I’m thinking is she serious?

Uhh.. YES!!

She writes the director’s name and number down and instructs me to call her.  The first chance I got, I called and expressed my interest in the job.  Before my shift ended, I answered a call and this is what she said,

Merry Christmas!  The job is yours!!

Reliving the experience still makes my heart flutter.  I had taken calculated risks that paid off well.  What if I hadn’t auditioned?  What if I had never quit my job?  What if I did not take the cut in pay?  The what if’s are endless.

The bottom line is that if I did not go after what I wanted, I would have missed out on future opportunities and my path would have differed and I don’t think for the better. I was stressed out, over-worked, and burnt out.

If you do not ASK, the answer will always be NO.   I was one of 125 employees laid off from a job that I loved. While disappointed, because I loved my job and my director, I knew I would fare okay.  I felt sadness for my colleagues who cried and only saw darkness before them.

I was numb and confused.  The new president of our company had recently held a pep rally.  I was among nearly 5,000 employees who were optimistic about the company’s future. Our president told us that he valued us and the company would depend on us to move forward.

On my drive home, I thought to myself, I’m a model employee.  Excellent attendance, outstanding reviews, respected by colleagues and superiors, superb initiative and more. Why was my position eliminated?

A letter was in order.  Yup!  I sat down and wrote a letter to the new president. My main question to him was simple.

 If I am the type of employee you want, why was I laid off and not moved to a different position?

I also requested to meet with him to discuss my future with the organization.

I hand delivered the letter to the president’s administrative assistant and asked if she would give it to him and she did.

Tho I didn’t get to personally meet with him, he read the letter and responded.

I was rehired as an intern that eventually lead to a full-time position!  If I hadn’t asked the question, the answer would have always been NO.

If you do not step FORWARD, you will ALWAYS be in the same place. Both experiences were opportunities for personal and professional growth.

I could not predict the outcomes but held faith that something positive would occur for me.  I was correct. Both situations opened new doors, new challenges, and more importantly, the confidence to continue to step forward.

Not caring about what others think about my decisions, because they are mine to make and no one else’s, feels damn good.  Waiting for the approval of family, friends, or colleagues is pointless because they may not share the vision. I do understand that there is difference between seeking approval and soliciting respectable feedback.

Look around and take inventory.  We all know someone stuck in a bad place. They want to be in a different place but are afraid to step forward. The mindset creates a stifling and toxic atmosphere. Playing it safe in sports doesn’t win the game, neither does it make you happy in life.

If stepping forward were easy, everyone would do it, so do not be afraid to go it alone or with a small team in your corner.

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By the way, Yes, I am still participating in the 100 happy days challenge. A few challenges have prevented me from posting, but the challenges aren’t keeping me from being happy. I will play the catch-up game this week.

Enjoy the day! :)

Few Words

Got out of bed at 4:15 a.m.

Went to work.

Drove to the gym.

Worked legs.

Did some gluts.

Raced home.

Showered.

Fixed a dinner plate to-go.

Sat on the sidelines at football practice.

Ate dinner.

Got cold.

Got even colder.

Raced home.

Packaged tomorrow’s lunch.

Arrived at my final destination….

Bed!

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Very happy that I am in bed before nine. #100HappyDaysChallenge #100HappyDays4Lexa #Day27

I hope you had a fabulous day.  I did and am very grateful for my blessings.

Until next time.  Chow!  :)

A Second Chance

Going to the gym and forgetting my purse is becoming a habit.  A bad habit. This morning I was so focused on getting to the gym that I did it again.

Five minutes away from the gym, I realized I did not have my purse, but I wasn’t about to return home.  That would have cut into my workout.  I would rather take my chances and get stop by the local police.  Slow your roll girl!  I made sure to follow the speed limit, especially in the 25 mph zones.

My day blew by!

Nearly two hours working mostly on my back and a little shoulder.  I have no idea why, but today a couple of folks wanted to stop and chat.  Me… Mrs. Chit Chat was trying to get through my workout.  Ear buds neatly tucked in, head boppin and all… it did not stop them from getting my attention.

One was a couple.  The guy age 65 (he told me), who looked every bit 10 years plus younger.  Nice body!  I could tell he knew what he was doing in the gym.  The girl… well… nice. Huge 80’s style hair, very thin, and bright eyes and pretty smile.   The gentleman complimented me on my physique.

Moving from the cable equipment to the back machines, a 50ish looking male with a solid body stops me… his white hair gave his age away.

“I’ve been watching you!  Your form is excellent! You are doing everything right!  Keep doing what you are doing kiddo!”

“Kiddo!”  Lol!  He has not idea I’m well over 40.  Love it! I thank him and go to put my ear buds back in.  He leans over to tell me that he is or was (I forget) a personal trainer for years.  It took me like 4 or 5 attempts before he finally stopped talking.   Although I did respond, I needed to get back to my workout.

Yes, I finally got through it.  I got home by noon, just in time to meet “Arnold” who runs a home cleaning service.  I need someone to clean my home.  I can’t do it anymore.. truthfully, I don’t want to do anymore, so I’m not. We were suppose to me to discuss my needs, prices, and availability.

I race in the door, quickly fix my post workout meal (oats & eggs) and wolf it down.  15 minutes later.  Where’s Arnold?

I can’t wait, I’ve got things to do. In 2 1/2 hours, I did Shoprite, Bed Bath & Beyond, BJ’s, Macy’s, and the dreaded Walmart.  Hold up…  I don’t hate Walmart, but there are certain times that you do not shop at Walmart in my area and I was in the heart of it. But since I have a busy week, I put my music in my ear and braved the madness.  Lol!

Once home, I cooked a big pot of chilly and prepped a pot of kale.  I called the nail salon. It was 3:45 p.m., the salon’s last appointment was 4:30.  I turned the chili on low and tell hubby to watch it.  It’s Sunday afternoon football; that was a dangerous move.  I was smart enough not to turn the kale on. I called him on my way home from the salon to turn the pot on.

I raced out the door 10 minutes later and got to the nail place at 4:16.  The best thing about driving on a Sunday afternoon is that, at least here in South Jersey, everybody is somewhere watching football.  The roads were clear.  Thank God!

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Yay I got my nails done!  Those sparkles on the black polish are still growing on me, but guess what.  This chica is #happy about getting my nails done today.

#100 Happy Days Challenge #Day 26

Question.  How do you not engage in conversation at they gym?  The social butterfly that I am, loves to chat; however, on most days, I need to skip the chatter.  Should I buy BIGGER headphones?  Any  tips?  Oh please do share.

Geez… do you know what time it is?  Oh gosh… it’s past my bed time.  I really must go.

I hope you had a great weekend.  I did.  B’Dazzle’s JV football team beat another team 36-0!  Sweet!  He did his job as nose guard very well.

Okay.. I’m going this time.  For real!  Lol!

Oh  wait… at 6:54 p.m. Arnold (the owner of the cleaning service) texts me the following:

Wow, I just remember(ed) now, supposed to be there noon time today, completely forgot.  It’s Arnold.  Apology, do you want me to go (come) another time?  Really sorry.

OMG!!  LOL!!  Arnold came highly recommended by a neighbor. Everyone makes mistakes.  I believe in second chances, so I did reschedule. If he forgets this time, it’s a wrap and I will move down my list of recommended cleaning companies.

Serious… Sweet dreams!  :)