A Beautiful Habit

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Image courtesy of LivingWellSpendingLess.com

Boo!!  Lol!  Good Morning!

I just packed my lunchbox and got excited at the beauty of lunch; it’s so pretty!   It’s okay, I’m cool if you don’t get it.  When you eat clean, you see food differently and appreciate the natural beauty of vegetation.

Anyways, the meat is from Sunday’s food prep session; center cut pork loin.  We ate the last of the cooked veggies yesterday, so I tossed in a couple handfuls of a kale medley blend (spinach, kale, chard, and carrots), drizzled pan juices from the cooked chops, and placed the chops on top.  A half-cup of brown rice is my side.

Mmm…. makes for a delicious and nutritious lunch!

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Happy Halloween and Happy Friday!

Enjoy the day… make it fabulous!  :)

 

 

 

Trim The Fat

You will not find bacon (not even turkey bacon) on my plate; however, you can bust me eating leaner cuts of pork like tenderloin, center cut pork loin or boneless chops.

Sometimes I get sick and tired of eating chicken, but I still need a lean source of protein. Since I don’t eat beef, a lean cut of pork does the trick. Tonight I cooked center cut boneless pork loin for me not the family. I am not being selfish, they want something different.

Yesterday I cooked them baked ziti (whole grain pasta) with ground turkey, fresh green beans, and baked barbecue wings.  I actually feel guilty cooking this food, but they don’t care to eat off my menu. I get it.

I will compete again in 2015 and need more size and definition. It starts with my diet.

Taking the smallest steps in the kitchen, can net the greatest gains in your long-term fitness goals. Don’t cheat yourself, trim the fat. Ya hear me!  Trim it!

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As a teen helping mom in the kitchen, I learned that the fat has the flavor.  Don’t trim it off!  Please, don’t believe the hype… you can add flavor (using fresh spices) without the fat.IMG_3327.JPG

IMG_3328.JPGThe finished product was delicious!  Ingredients:  fresh garlic cloves (handful), fresh black pepper, cayenne pepper, McCormick’s Grill Mates, bourbon & brown sugar (closer to competition, I will cut this from my diet due to sugar & sodium content), olive oil, red wine vinaigrette (I will eliminate this too).

I broiled the chops 15 minutes on low on one side, then flipped over on high for about 15 min.  I like my meat well done… no pink!

On to my 100HappyDaysChallenge…

OUTLETI saw these outlets on TV and told hubby about them. He surprised me and installed one in the kitchen. Love them!  Now we can charge our devices and still have room for other electronics in the kitchen.  Their pricy, so we’ll slowly replace other outlets. #100HappyDaysChallenge4Lexa #100HappyDaysChallenge #Day48

BAKED ZITIBaked ziti for my peeps.  They are so damn happy to eat something other than brown rice and sweet potatoes. They’re happy to have pasta.  I am happy because they are happy and I taste tested it (about 4 noodles), it was delicious but I ate brown rice instead.  It’s called discipline and I have it!  :)   #100HappyDaysChallenge #100HappyDays4Lexa #Day49

Sweet dreams!!  :)

 

 

Why Did I Wait So Long?

It’s Thursday and I am dogged tired but happier than a pig in, well you know…  Lol!

Though I’m tired, I am feeling mighty fine now. :)

After much procrastination, dust balls spinning on the wood floors, cobwebs getting caught in my curls, and dusty windows obstructing sunrise, I finally broke down and hired a company to clean my filthy house.

There just ain’t enough time to blog, work, train, attend football practice, cook, do laundry and thoroughly clean over 4,000 square feet in one damn week. I know y’all feel me on this.

The delay was because I don’t think anyone is going to clean it the way “I” clean.  I’m icky picky about stuff.  Don’t wear shoes in the house.  Use a fresh cloth in each area. Stay out of my kitchen; I’ll disinfect it myself (even after the cleaners leave).  Yeah, you read it right.

Am I OCD?  Possibly and I don’t care; there’s no shame in my game.

Anyways, lately I have just let ish go and I spot clean. Hubby tries but the help is not consistent.   My 25 year-old daughter swears the floors are clean enough to eat off but obviously we have different standards.  If the floors are so damned clean, why don’t you try eating off of them?

I am in the basement writing this post, while a team of five are upstairs whipping my house into shape. Lord, I am thankful!

Making my day even more special, I’m sitting in my official writing space.  A writer friend (Thanks Shawn!) encouraged me to create a writing space, which I did.  During football season though, I blog from the sidelines, inside my car, my lunch break at work, or any space where I can compose my thoughts and write a few words.

writingMy writing space is filled with inspirational images and objects that make me smile. The small pic with the girl in the cap and gown is me.  After nearly 12 years of working and going to school, in 2002, I received my Bachelor’s Degree in English.

This dog is cool. The message is encouraging.

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Obama

My writing space was created to inspire me.  On Wednesday, November 5, 2008, Barack Obama made history and was elected President of the United States.  I never thought I would live to see the day when an African-American male would be elected president. Those were the happiest tears ever!

The following day, I took the day off from work and bought all the magazines and newspapers I could find. The images remind me that no dream of mine is too big or unattainable. #100HappyDaysChallenge  #100HappyDays4Lexa #Day45

The truth is this (cleaning) company is doing a better job than me!  They’re fluffing bed linen, polishing the kitchen trash can, dusting pictures on the walls and cleaning stuff that hasn’t been touched in God knows how long.

They clean.  I write.

Dummy!   Instead of being cute, I should have done this a long time ago.  I can walk bare foot again!!  Haahaahhaa!  Silly me!  It’s the little things that make me happy.

Speaking of happy, yes, I am still plugging away at the 100HappyDaysChallenge.  The challenge, pun intended, is that I capture most of my “happy” images with my iPhone. When I attempt a picture, I get this lovely message….

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How am I suppose to capture my happy images when my storage is full?  Sometimes I use my iPad, but I don’t always have that. Hubby and I share Apple accounts.  It seemed like a good idea (before I started blogging), but it’s not working anymore.  After we get our iPhone 6 and or 6 Plus, we will separate the accounts.

The best fix is to buy a new camera!  I am working on it.

Oh wow!!  Lol!!  They (the cleaning crew) just carried Alex down to me. They are trying to clean and he wanted to play.

AlexI can’t help but grin when he chills out on the steps. :)   #100HappyDaysChallenge #100HappyDays4Lexa #Day46

Holy cow, Arnold (the owner) wasn’t kidding about the first cleaning being detailed! They’re in the microwave!  I’m doing the happy dance now!! They started at 3:15 p.m. It is 7:29 p.m. and the vacuum is in full effect.  Yay!!  Tonight before heading to bed, I’m going dance barefoot on the hardwood floors.

So back to my #100HappyDaysChallenge.

LUNCHEnjoying a quiet and delicious lunch with hubby at a quaint bistro in Northern Jersey. #100HappyDaysChallenge #100HappyDays4Lexa #Day47

Well folks, 8 O’Clock is creeping up on me and it’s Thursday.  Do you know what that means? You have to!!  Lol!

Greys Anatomy!

Scandal!

How To Get Away With Murder!

Which also means that I will wake up tired as heck tomorrow morning, but since tomorrow is Friday, rising at 4ish will be a little less painful.

Ya’ll have a fabulous night and thanks so much for stopping by and for following Lexa’s Journal.

Smooches! :)

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!  :)