Monday, September 1, 2014

Week Seven: Jari Love Challenge

Here we go!  My last week of this challenge; my last week before a week off from working out!  Wow!

I definitely think I'm due for a rest, even though my OCD-brain hates the thought of taking a week off from exercise.  But after a while, you have to rest and refuel just to get your motivation back.  And this is what I need. 

However, before that rest, I'm going to hit it hard this week! 

Monday:  Jari Love's Get Extremely RIPPED 1000 - Workout 1

The first workout on this disc is by far my favorite.  It's always tough but the cardio is much more preferred than that of the second workout.  This workout lasted for 35 minutes.  I then did a leg strength track, using weights, followed by a nice stretch.  Not bad for a Monday morning!

Tuesday: Jillian Michaels' 6 Week Six-Pack

I hadn't touched this video in forever!  So instead of doing a lighter fusion/pilates/yoga workout this week, I decided to be tortured by Jillian.  Ha!  Her ab workouts have cardio circuits incorporated throughout, in order to burn calories while sculpting.  As a result, I definitely sweated.  I did the entire basic workout and half of the advanced, which was one circuit before it was all repeated.  Wow.  We'll see how my abs looks!

Wednesday: 500 Calorie Workout by The Firm

This morning, I wanted some good cardio.  The Firm's workout got me sweating in no time, alternating between five minute segments of cardio and then weights.  Even though I've done plenty of weights lately and during my Peak 10 Challenge, this workout always gets me.  Perhaps it's the repetitions of the compound exercies.  Even though it was tough, it felt good!

Thursday: Get RIPPED! 1000 by Jari Love

I haven't been sleeping well this week and this morning, I woke up feeling icky.  But I made myself move and, before long, I was well into this Jari Love workout.  

Friday:  Glo's Sweat It Out, Burn It Off and HIIT - Sports Inspired Intervals

I put these two videos together to make a 50 minute cardio workout.  The first was athletic cardio with some light weights (but all cardio) and the second was HIIT training.  You alternate 20 second HIIT moves.  I like having different types of workouts within my 50 minutes so this was fun!

Saturday: rest

Sunday: rest

Calorie Counts:

Monday - 1385
Tuesday - 1385
Wednesday - 1365
Thursday - 1398
Friday - BAD!
Saturday - bad
Sunday - bad

Mr. Higgins' parents arrived Saturday morning and so my "break" began.  

Friday, August 29, 2014

Empress of Rome

Lately, I've really been enjoying the Roman historical fiction novels of Kate Quinn.  She has a great talent for weaving itneresting history and witty dialogue.  My latest read of hers, Empress of Rome, was great.  It's the third book in her Rome series and, while the first one was probably my favorite, I really enjoyed the third installment.

This is what I wrote on Goodreads:

Kate Quinn's third Roman novel is just as good as the previous two. Quinn has a talent for weaving historical facts and fiction; her dialogue is witty and fluid while her descriptions are vivid and real. Her writing style relies more on dialogue than description but that keeps the novel flowing and entertaining.

I really enjoyed reading about Sabina Vibia and her sister, Faustina. Titus and Vix were polar opposites and intriguing. The emperor Trajan came to life here, as did his heir, Hadrian.

A very fun read!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Irish Soda Bread Muffins (2014:31)

I love Pinterest.  I also love recipe blogs.  When you put the two together, I'm in heaven.  If you've never tried Pinterest, it's a great way to keep track of all those recipes you find, all those crafty ideas your run across, and fashion trends you want to try.

A few months ago, I pinned a recipe for Irish Soda Bread Muffins from Skinnytaste, a blog I frequent.  I'd never tried Soda Bread and was curious.

Over the weekend, I finally got around to making the muffins.  The recipe was simple and there was little fuss.  I opted for unbleached flour instead of whole wheat, as my wheat flour was running low. 

When they came out of the oven, I could hardly wait for them to cool before trying them.  And they were quite yummy!  The texture is somewhere between bread and coarse cornbread - definitely different but yummy! 

I'm so glad to have found this low-calorie recipe!  It'll go into my recipe book, for sure!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Week Six: Jari Love Challenge

Since my eating hasn't been great, I've been avoiding the scale.  This week, though, I had to get on it due to my dreaded yearly physical.  I weighed before going to the doctor and I was completely happy with the number displayed.  All these high intensity workouts really do amazing things for weight, let me tell you!

Thankfully, my eating will be better this week. 

Monday: Jari Love's Get Extremely RIPPED! 1000 Hardcore and abs

Mondays are always hard.  The cardio in this workout is always difficult....just because it always lasts longer than expected.  But I got through workout 2 and went on to do 10 minutes of abs from Glo. 

Tuesday: Cardio Interval Burn on Glo by Michelle Dozois

My doctor's appointment was today so I had extra time in the morning before I was due to be examined (ugh!).  I worked out extra long in order to not be too distracted by my starving stomach.  This CIB lasted for about 55 minutes; I stretched for 10; then 10 minutes of Dozois' pilates (core focused) on Glo.  When I have the time, I love a good, long workout!

Wednesday: Michelle Dozois' Tip Top Shape on Glo

This one was more difficult than I expected, I think because of the floorwork.  I sweated up a storm but it was fun!  There are some different weighted strength moves in here, too - Michelle really is innovative with her moves!  I'll do this one again!

Thursday: Yoga Booty Ballet (original)

I did parts of the basic and advanced workouts.  I like the ballet and yoga of the basic but the dance of the advanced.  This DVD had gone untouched for a long time, so it was a pleasant change!

Friday: Jari Love's Slim and Lean

As usual, I did three segments of this (plus warm-up) and alternated those segments with my own cardio drills.  It's definitely a workout but it's varied enough to not be exhausting.  

Saturday: Peak 10 Cardio Strength Remix by Michelle Dozois

Wow, this one is tough but good!  I had worked outside, sweating away in the early morning humidity and heat and I could definitely tell this workout was harder because of being a bit dehydrated at the start.  I drank more water than usual and got through it.  Always a fun one!

Sunday: Cathe's Cardio Core Circuit + dance and abs from Glo

I was dreading this one for days beforehand, which is never a good thing.  Cathe sure does work you hard but I made it through.  I followed up that 45 minute workout with 20 minutes of dance on Glo and then 5 minutes of abs.  Fun!

Calorie Counts:

Monday - 1395
Tuesday - 1385

Wednesday - 1383
Thursday - 1321
Friday - BAD
Saturday - 1478
Sunday - 1388

I was really proud of those calorie counts this week.  I went out to lunch three days (one on Friday) but I ate healthy and stayed on track!  Even through the weekend!  Wow.  Of course, when the in-laws are in town in a few weeks, it's all over.  Sigh.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Happy Colada (2014:30)

We were set to have company over to watch "Game of Thrones" and I wanted to be a good hostess and offer a cocktail.  Looking for drinks online is a daunting prospect - so many choices, so many's overwhelming!

When I ran across a recipe with pineapple, my interest always peaks: I love pineapple!  And then I saw this recipe for Happy Coladas.  I like blue curacao; I like rum.  And so I gave these a whirl!

My batch of coladas turned out to be more green than blue, prompting Mr. Higgins to re-name it Romulan Ale.  His joking ended when he sipped the green drink and liked it.  I decreased the coconut rum and added some aged rum so the drink would have more of a punch.  And it did!

After two of these, I was pleasantly loopy - and happy!  These will be made quite frequently at our house!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Craft Updates

I'm overdue to talk about crafty things!  And, boy, do I have a lot of crafty things going one!  Here's a run-down...


The cowl that has been my knitting life for a while now is....still my knitting life.  I really do love it and the Madelinetosh yarn it's made of....but knitting takes more time than I ever think.  I even sat down and knitted through a two-hour long movie.....and didn't feel like I made a ton of progress.  My friend is waiting on me to start a sweater with her so I need to get this done!

Project Life

I'm still loving this, though I hate having to pick up pictures - now every two weeks.  I try to write out my journal cards at the end of every week but I'm now spacing out my trips to Walgreens for prints.  With my longer hours at work, those trips are now very inconvenient.  My main struggle with PL, though, is remembering to take pictures.  With my faulty memory, it's a lot harder than it would seem.


In the spring, I made a ton of cards after my co-workers kept insisting I provide the cards we send as a department.  So I'm still good on unisex birthday cards.  Recently, I made some college football cards since it's Mr. Higgins' favorite time of the year.


My mom and I have our second scrapbook retreat of the year in late September.  That should be super fun and productive as I hope to start and complete a book during that long weekend.  These retreats are priceless!

I think that's it!  So many crafts, so little time!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Week Five: Jari Love Challenge

Time is flying by - good grief!  I won't be sad to see summer and this heat end, for sure.  But it's amazing how quickly the weeks pass. 

This week will not be a great eating week.  Sometimes life intrudes upon our goals and this is one of those times.  I'll keep up the workouts, though, shirking any days off between now and week eight, which will be a complete break from working out.  Mr. Higgins' parents will be in town that week and working out is not an option. 

So, here we go, week five.....

Monday: Michelle Dozois' Rockin' Body Cardio

I consider this to be a lighter workout and I needed this after two days of Peak 10 workouts.  But I always forget how much this one works me - and how much I sweat.  It's good old-fashioned cardio and my heart rates gets up and stays up for the duration!

Tuesday: Jari Love's Get Extremely RIPPED! - Workout 2 and Michelle Dozois' Tight and Toned Core on Glo

I was ready to do some weights this morning and Jari gave me a great workout.  Even though this workout has no real cardio, the compound weighted exercises always get me sweating.  To finish off my 50 minutes of workout out, I did Michelle's Tight and Toned Core on Glo.  I surprised myself by being able to do a few of the harder moves but was disappointed when I struggled with others.  Sigh.

Wednesday: Body Fit 360 by Michelle Dozois

Since I didn't do a fusion/yoga/pilates workout last week, I was excited to do one today.  And it was fun.  As always, I love the intense stretching at the end of the workout!

Thursday: Two lighter workouts on Glo with Dozois' Supercharge Intervals in the middle

I began by doing a ten minute light cardio workout to warm-up.  Then, for the first time, I did Michelle's HIIT workout, Supercharge Intervals, which is 20 minutes long.  There are only five moves.  You start with 10 reps each and count all the down to only 1 rep each.  Wow.  This was difficult.  I finished by doing a 20 minute dance workout, to stay loose but moving after the HIIT craziness.  I'm not sure what I think about that style of HIIT.  For me, doing many moves rather than just a few is always preferable.  But I like to shake things up so it was worth it.

Friday: Get RIPPED! 1000 by Jari Love

I'm trying to use my heavier weights whenever possible.  However, I still can't use them for the endless bicep curl track.  My light weights are easier, though, and I'm able to do the entire track.  Yay!

Saturday:  Cathe's Intensity + light cardio from Glo

Today, my workout lasted 80 minutes, including a 5 minute stretch.  I did Cathe's Intensity (step + HIIT + HIIT Low) for 50 minutes, light cardio from Glo for 20 minutes, and then a 5 minute stretch.  I still don't like Cathe's style….and I know I say that every time I do her workouts.  But today, after it all, I felt great - and that's what matters.

Sunday: Peak 10 Cardio Interval Remix

This is one of my favorites and it felt good this morning.  It's not easy, though, and I was sweating up a storm.  I think this one has just the right about of floor work.

Calorie Counts:

Monday - 1381
Tuesday - 2473 (UGH!)
Wednesday - 1388
Thursday - 1392
Friday - BAD!
Saturday -  1440
Sunday - 1412

This was not a great eating week.  Next week will have to be better!