Posts tagged ‘fit and fun’

April 17, 2014

APRIL HH OF THE MONTH

CEO of Muscle Mom Lauren Lopez

CEO of Muscle Mom Lauren Lopez

 

Meet Lauren Lopez Rocking the baby bump on the April cover of Healthy Housewives!

http://www.healthyhousewives.com/testimonial25.html

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March 19, 2014

Ocean Freeze; Still a Breeze

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We are at the beach house for Spring Break this year, and it’s freezing. Ok, not freezing, but around 40-55 degrees, and NOT laying-out-in-the-sun weather. Despite the Cape Cod-like days, I’ve retreated to my daily jogs on the beach. I don’t usually do the same exercise on back-to-back days (it’s healthy to shake it up and there are so many activity options!) but somehow, being close to the water helps me loosen my grip on my rules and routine. I’ll shake it up, so I am not working the exact same muscles every day—sometimes sprint drills, other days it’s a beach boot camp routine, and some times it’s a sand jog and then Yoga. It’s tough to beat a steady-paced therapeutic run along the shoreline, but most of us can’t stop what we’re doing and run to a beachside town somewhere.

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Just sayin’

If you’re in a spot where a coastline isn’t accessible, check out these meditative, beach-like artists for your playlist:

 

  • Jimmy Buffett (duh)
  • Kenny Chesney
  • Colbie Caillat
  • Sheryl Crow
  • The Beach Boys
  • Elvis (I’m serious. Must be all of those old Elvis movies I watched.)

 Or simply search the words: top. beach. party. songs. 

Another tradition at the beach house is smoothies. Despite the cooler temps, I still made my favorites that I share below. There’s several farmer’s markets in the area, so fresh, organic produce is easy to find, and I pack my vanilla Advocare protein powder. (I also mix half a scoop of protein powder into steel cut oats with cranberries for a morning meal or snack. Yum.)

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Add some cinnamon if you want. I’m a cinna-addict!

1 cup spinach

1 cup frozen mango or peaches

1 cup freshly-juiced carrot juice (or store-bought organic carrot juice)

1/2 cup almond milk or coconut water

Shot of wheat grass

1 scoop of protein powder

 

 

ImageBlueberry Beach Babe

1 cup spinach

1/2 cup coconut water

1/2 cup kale

1 cup frozen blueberries

1/2 cup raspberry or cranberry

1 scoop protein powder (optional)

Squeeze one lemon on top and blend. Enjoy!

ImageFor you fellow Holistic hotties out there, download some Enya and take your meditation or Yoga practice to the beach at sunrise or sunset for a boost in your spiritual health walk. I’ve never felt closer to God than I do at these moments. This past trip gave me an especially relaxing session as I reflected on the Water Element. Symbolizing spirituality and wisdom, this therapeutic combination got me thinking about how the ocean is like life… or maybe it just reminds me of my life.

Read on and let me know if you can relate.

 

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  • Changes, like waves, are coming whether you want them to or not.
  • Sometimes, diving in is your best bet; then, you can start focusing on something else.
  • Let it go. It’ll drift where it’s supposed to go on its own.
  • The tide rises and falls by someone higher up than you. Why are you trying to control it?
  • The water is blue; the water is green, too. It depends on where you’re standing.
  • An overcast day at the beach is still a day at the beach.
  • It’s okay to spend some time by yourself. Some else may block your view.
  • Powdery, white sand is beautiful, until you have to run in it.
  • Protect yourself—remember the sun can burn you even if you don’t see it.
  • The ocean doesn’t belong to you, but the memories you take from it are all yours.

 Peace y’all, Lacey

 

January 1, 2014

Happy Detox Day!

I’m kidding… Happy New Year! If you’re considering a detox diet this New Year’s Day, you’ve come to the right place. As a Healthy Housewives Team, we are your online source for all things healthy and fit. I won’t speak for the other girls, but I am a big supporter of periodic detoxification. The operative word there is PERIODIC. Like most other things, if you detox too often you risk not absorbing enough nutrients for your body to grow and thrive. That’s no way to live.

Detoxing for up to 30 days is not only healthy, but it’s becoming required to maintain optimal health in such a toxic society. I’m not talking just food either—your cell phone, pollution, stress, smoke, and yes, the chemicals in our food supply all lead to over-toxic bodies. As part of a detox, you’ve probably purchased your choice detox support product, a bunch of organic produce, and several jugs of water. Good for you! Here are some recipes that will fit into most detox plans, and won’t drive you bonkers with time in the kitchen. (Who has extra time to spend? Not me.)

ImageCran-Quinoa Salad

Serves 4

Salad:
1 cup uncooked quinoa
1/4 cup dried cranberries
2 scallions, finely chopped
2 cups mixed greens such as spinach and arugula

Dressing:
1/4 cup cashews
1/8 cup pine nuts
2 tsp miso paste
1/4 tsp agave nectar
1/2 cup water
3 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp lemon zest
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp black pepper

COOK quinoa according to package instructions.

While quinoa cooks, COMBINE all dressing ingredients in a blender; process until smooth. Add water if dressing is too thick.

In a large serving bowl, COMBINE cooked quinoa, dried cranberries, scallions and mixed greens; gently toss with olive oil and garlic-infused vinegar. Serve chilled.

ImageBasil Avocado Salad

Serves 2

1 large fennel bulb, slice stalks and bulbs into 1/2 inch pieces
2 cups fresh baby arugula
1 ripe avocado, peeled, pitted and sliced
1 large carrot, finely chopped
Juice from 1 organic lemon
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp lemon zest
4 fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp chia seeds
1/4 cup cashews

FILL a large bowl with ice water.

BRING a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Add fennel and cook for 3 minutes. Drain fennel and immediately submerge into ice bath. Set aside for 3 minutes. Drain.

TRANSFER fennel to a large serving bowl; pat dry. Add avocado and carrot.

DRIZZLE salad with lemon juice, lemon zest, oil, basil, sea salt and pepper.  Gently toss to coat.

DIVIDE salad between 2 serving dishes. Top with ground chia seeds and cashews.  Serve at room temperature. Eat husband’s if he doesn’t finish it.

ImageSweet Pea Juice

Serves 2

2 large McIntosh apples, cored and diced
1 large orange, peeled and segmented
1 cup sugar snap peas, peeled
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
1/2 tsp stevia powder (if desired)

PULSE apple, orange juice, peas, cilantro and stevia in a blender until liquefied.

POUR into serving glasses; serve chilled.

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My last grocery list:

veggies, avocado, salsa, eggs, fish, spices, coconut water, almonds, grass-fed beef, and wasabi peas (LOVE them.)

Success Tips: Choose veggies you’ll eat. Try out different spices to shake up flavor! Don’t let one set back kill your goal—get back on track asap. Warm lemon water or herbal tea is more satisfying than you think. Spend time alone to really feel what your body is feeling. Get and stay in tune with your body! Celebrate small wins with a new playlist, book, or a massage—not food.

SMILE! A game I play with myself is to ensure nobody knows when I am detoxing. I’m still as energetic, joyful, and productive as always. I’ll be leading a detox support group via Instagram @LectroFit and via email at: lectrofit@gmail.com if you’d like to join.

Stay glued to what the Healthy Housewives will be doing in 2014—you’re sure to be inspired, educated, motivated, and perhaps a bit entertained along whatever health journey you are on.  Happy detoxing!  –Lacey

September 25, 2013

All About Energy

Need more energy? Everywhere I turn, someone somewhere is asking for tips for more energy. As a wellness professional, I’m wondering why nobody asks about their lack of energy, and about probable causes for little get-up-and-go.

Alas, most people are in need of more energy, especially as we move through the hectic fall season and into the—gasp—holiday season. No fear. Abundant energy is awaiting you. Choose your favorite source and move forward with gusto!

Stock Your pantry!

Bananas

In addition to providing valuable nutrients, including potassium, vitamin C, and vitamin B6, bananas are a good source of carbohydrates. A plain banana makes the perfect preworkout snack. For something more substantial, mix one into a smoothie, spread one with nut butter.

Peanuts, Peanut Butter, and other Nuts and Nut Butters

Nut butters have been called an athlete’s best friend: Because they provide “fuel and sustained energy,” they’re a great sports food and actually one of the “best diet foods around.” Nuts and nut butters are good recovery foods because they have a combination of protein and carbs, while their healthy, heart-protecting fats keep you going over the long haul.

A Favorite Go-To Energizing Recipe:

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Roll a banana in your favorite wrap. Drizzle a little honey and sprinkle with cinnamon. Add dried fruit on top, if desired.

Spinach

Combine leafy greens with a lean protein and you have an athlete’s power house for sustained energy and muscle repair. Toss in some carbs, too, for a high-energy meal.

Beans

Legumes are a great source of both protein and carbs in a heart-healthy and inexpensive package. Toss them into salads, soups, stews, chilis, and pasta dishes, or serve with quick-cooking brown rice and jarred salsa for a superfast supper.

Oranges

When you exercise, your muscles receive tiny tears—the vitamin C in oranges and many other fruits helps repair them.

Dried Fruit

People sometimes shy away from dried fruit because it can pack a lot of calories, but its portability, nutrient density, and easy-to-access carbs make it a healthy choice for longer workouts such as hiking and biking.

Stock Your Supplement Cabinet

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For early morning workouts, clients, or appointments, I use Advocare’s Spark. As a coffee lover, I appreciate the caffeine and blend of vitamins and minerals to jumpstart my day. The amino acids support the aggressive workout I’m about to put myself through.

Ultimate O2Ultimate O2 (from LectroLife Technologies) is a spray that promotes the transfer of oxygen into the bloodstream. I keep it in my purse for daily use. One to two sprays directly on my tongue provide atomized energy, oxygen, and peppermint oil to support an energized perspective to whatever I am doing,

Essentia Water—never underestimate the power of a hydrated body. When in doubt, chug a glass of water.

Stock Your Night Stand

Lavender

Lavender Essential Oil

Lavender is an adaptogen, and therefore can assist the body when adapting to stress or imbalances. I like to close out my day with lavender oil on my temples and the back of my neck. It is a great aid for relaxing and winding down before bedtime, yet has balancing properties that can also boost stamina and energy.

A cool eye mask

I use mine because my husband falls asleep after me and sometimes watches the television. The night mask ensures a better chance of uninterrupted sleep.

A Journal

Sometimes my mind won’t turn off, so I jot down everything that pops into my mind and leave it on the nightstand. If it’s on the paper, it’s out of my head. I can deal with it tomorrow, after I am fully rested. 

In health, Lacey

September 10, 2013

Dare to Be!

Image“I dare you.” Your 11-year old self still cringes at the sound of those three words. Or is it just me? It was definitely popular around South-Central Texas in the late 1980s to taunt friends and enemies alike with challenges, most of which I took, and from which I endured bruises, scrapes, and two rounds of stitches (that I can recall.) Then, as a teenager, the game “Truth or Dare” made its rounds at the parties I attended, and within my social circles. Oh, don’t gasp with innocence, you know you participated that one time. I digress… 

By the time I was in college, I got really good at being a dare-devil. I started the dancing on the dance floor. I wore yellow when everyone else was in black. I ran long-distances when everyone else slept in. Once I applied for a scholarship that marketed only to a specific race, of which I was not, simply to take a stand for equality–true equality. Basically, if you told me I couldn’t do something, I wanted to do it even more. And I did. Thankfully, I survived. 
 
As an adult, I recall taking less risks. The older I got, the less I challenged myself to step outside of my comfort zone. When did I lose my edge? Sure, maturity took care of some of it (e.g.; no more shot games of any kind. Period. Oh, and racing across a football field in your PJs (shorts and tank top) with your girlfriends on a snowy day isn’t cool anymore either), but a friendly challenge between you and your spouse, coworkers, friends, or even just challenging yourself every so often, reminds you that you’re alive. As long as you’re not harming yourself or others, get after it! For additional fun, grab a dare-devil buddy to dive in with you. 
 
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My niece decided on her own that the time was right (and she was tough enough) to get her ears pierced. She faced her fear, and now she sparkles even brighter than before with added confidence (and bling.) 
 
Folks, I think it’s time to bring back the “I dare you.” Perhaps, we can bring back the “I double-dog dare you.” (Who’s subconscious just recalled the movie, The Christmas Story?) What’s on your bucket list? What project are you going to finish before the end of the year? What race will you enter this fall? What karaoke song are you signing up for? Take the plunge! You weren’t born to sit on the sidelines and observe your life away. Get in the game! Face your fears! Challenge yourself to be comfortably uncomfortable! Go ahead… I dare ya! –Lacey Pruett 
September 4, 2013

Football Season—Time to Kick it into Gear!

Not sure about your home, but mine turns into a consistent gridiron gathering place until Valentine’s Day. If we’re not sitting in the stands at Cowboys Stadium, Kyle Field, Jones/AT&T Stadium, or Denton Ryan High School, we are at home, cranking up the surround sound, letting the fall breeze inside, and probably grilling something on game day. It’s not just the game either. It’s ESPN’s College Game Day, pre-game shows, and post-game recaps.

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“But Lacey—all of this sitting around in front of the tube doesn’t sound like healthy living to me.”

If you know me, or have followed my blogs for a while, you know that creativity and pure stubbornness will ensure the day will not go by without me conquering one hour of activity and proper nourishment. Because I love my “I want to be healthy but I’m a die-hard football fan” friends, I want to share some tips that help me get from Labor Day to Valentine’s Day without packing on the pounds or missing the games that matter most to us (Dallas Cowboys, Fightin’ Texas A&M Aggies, Texas Tech Red Raiders, and the Denton Ryan H.S. Raiders.)

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Become a melon head and serve up fruit in a helmet!

Nutrition Tips

–Eat before you go to the stadium. This is the easiest way to ensure you receive adequate nourishment and that you’re not starving at the game, eventually succumbing to poor food options at the stadium concession stand.

–Pack baggies of almonds/cashews and your favorite granola or seeds. All filling options to maintain blood sugar levels and satisfy cravings and nervous play times.  (If you’re not a fan of nuts, check out the different seed cluster products out now.)

–Most stadiums are limiting the size of purses and bags; so don’t fret with protein powders, or meal replacements. Football games are maybe three hours max… you can make it without a full meal.

–Bring a packet of your favorite rehydrate or energy drink (mine, of course, are Advocare’s Spark or Rehydrate products.) Tuck the envelope into your pocket or boot to mix with a bottled water purchase. Just say NO to concession sodas. Unless you’re doing post-game Burpees in the parking lot.

–If you must have a “treat,” find a friend and SHARE. Even I can’t turn away my bonus-son when he says, “OMG you’ve GOT to try Dr. Pepper with peanuts.” What? I mean… sure. The excitement in his voice and the fact he acknowledged my presence is more important to me than temporarily shocking my body. Your body can handle it.

My Favorite Game Watching Party Offerings

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Fresh Avocado Nachos

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Kabobs–your favorite foods on a skewer for easy eating!

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When the temperature drops, this will keep everyone warm.

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Activity Options (All you need is to move your body and get your heart rate up. This can also serve as commercial and half time entertainment.)

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My favorite power move!

Pre-Game Warm up and Stretch (one minute per move): 10-15 minutes total

Jog in place

Jump rope (jump with both feet)

Side hops

Touch your toes (or try)

Sit with feet out and touch your toes (or try)

Sit with legs crossed and walk hands out; hold

Lie down and twist; each side

Folk hands behind your back and pull down

Jump Jacks

High Knees

And end with one minute of jogging in place

Commercial Breaks: (for the length of each commercial)

Jump Jacks

Plank Holds

Push Ups

Abs Holds

Chair Pose Hold/Wall Holds

(Just keep cycling through these simple, effective, no equipment needed moves and you’ll collect around 25-30 minutes of activity DURING the game. Side note: When a commercial of mine comes on, double-time it! J)

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An extra workout for you to try!

Post-Game Rant: (You’re either angry or excited depending on who won, so capitalize on the energy flooding your body! One minute per move)

Quick Feet (pretend you’re quarterback; grab a football if you want)

High Knees

Side-to-Side Jumps

Lunge Run

Mountain Climbers

Plank Jumps

And everyone’s favorite… BURPEES!

The name of the game (so to speak) is to not sit still during game-watching events. Whether you’re in the stands or at a home watching party, move your body! Pretend you’re in the game. Challenge fellow party-attendees! Even bet on scores using pushups or plank sessions for the loser… whatever works for you, the event, and the guests with you. Be the change, friends! Let’s make America healthier during America’s Favorite Past-time: FOOTBALL SEASON!

Game on! –Lacey

July 10, 2013

Farmer’s Market Fun

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Nobody picked up the produce for today’s celebration. Fifteen family members were about to show up at my door step for a afternoon of fellowship, fun, and well, most expected some food. Everything was displayed and ready to go, until someone asked, “where are the veggies for this dip?”

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Thank goodness, we live about two minutes from our local Farmer’s Market, and since I needed some fresh air, I offered to make the run. Leaving two of my friends, mid-conversation, and leaving some haif-filled tea glasses, I broke “party host code” and left the party–temporarily. 

Five minutes at the Farmer’s Market left me refreshed, renewed, and possessing a fresh supply of locally-grown, organic, delicious produce. Here’s an in-depth perspective into what you you’ll find as you drive up to your local Farmer’s Market. I encourage everyone to give it a try; not necessarily when you have a house filled with party guests. 

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  • Friendly People: Everyone greeted me with a smile, and I instantly felt gratitude for purchasing locally-grown produce and homemade food products. It warms your spirit to know you’re supporting the local farmers and ranchers, economy, and encouraging a healthy, organic perspective in your friends and family. Positive vibes all around.
  • A Variety of Options: I went with produce on the brain, but I also found a nice nut/seed blend to display for my guests during conversation, in between meal times. I also found some favorite scented candles made from organic materials by a lady who lives in the town next to me. (I got her business card, because she happened to be there re-stocking.) I picked up several nut butters made by the family of the rancher who’s meat products are at the Farmer’s Market. (Who doesn’t need a good, organic cashew butter around for surprise house guests, and hungry teenagers?) I even walked away with a funny sign to display in our backyard that reads: Backyard Guests Are The Best. 
  • A Positive Spirit: Driving home, I reflected on my purchases, feeling proud and accomplished over my nourishing options for my family and guests. I also enjoyed so many friendly smiles and the renewed confidence that most people want to and try to do the right thing for their health and their family’s health. I also feel that maybe we’re all in this together, and by joining forces (and visiting our local Farmer’s Market often) we quite possible can create world peace.

Check out: http://www.localharvest.org to locate a Farmer’s Market near you and experience the joy for yourself. For now, I’ll just pray for a peaceful, enjoyable afternoon of house guests.  –Lacey Pruett

June 5, 2013

Life is a Beach Run

 

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The fishing pier at Port Aransas, Texas

The entire trip down to Port Aransas, Texas, I anxiously awaited running on the sand at the beach. I crave beach running, and every time I’m seaside, I wonder why it took me so long to get back here. As I started out on my morning run, Memorial Day weekend, I anticipated traffic on the beach; however, I found a nice, empty, clear path along the thickest part of the beach sand. Yay me! I’ll be getting a good leg workout today for sure

It’s always a struggle to cut coffee time short on the breezy patio and get my run in before enjoying the day lounging at the beach; however, in true runner-addict form, I had my one cup of coffee as I braided my hair, assembled my running outfit and tucked my toes in my low-profile sneakers. (I’ve gotten good at separating my toes to where they slide into the “web shoes” perfectly. Anyone who has a pair of “web shoes” appreciates this statement.)

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Necessities for the beach: plenty of water and sunglasses!

As suspected, the sand absorbs each step of my run, and my quads, hamstrings, and calves yell out a rally cry with each mile. As I look over to the water’s edge, I imagine the waves scooping up every worry from my mind and the tide carries all of them out into the ocean. Ahhh… breathing in salty air seasons my soul and it’s a feeling I crave. Deep breath in… big breath out… waves pull toward me to gather the stress on my shoulders, and the water leaves the shoreline peaceful and clear.

Four miles later, I return to the beach house and hang in ragdoll to pray. “Thank you Lord for reminding me how strong my body is even when I start to second-guess myself.”  Stretching is one of the best things you can do for your body post-workout. I find shade because now I am a dripping, salty mess and want to give my skin a chance to cool down and my breath to return to normal.  After a few yoga poses (especially for the hip flexors and hamstrings), I’m ready to take on the world.

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Now that I’ve shared one of my favorite summer workouts with you, I want to share the best part… shower and recovery meal! For my sun-kissed, salty and sweaty skin, I love lathering up with Dial soap. That’s right… good old-fashioned Dial anti-bacterial soap is safe for your entire body—even face! For my hair, it’s Wen brand hair care. The cleansing conditioner provides a no-nonsense, quick cleansing solution for my dry hair. No separate conditioner needed. Sometimes, I will even leave a small amount in my hair as a leave-in conditioner for the day.

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I moisturize my skin with a mixture of Kiss My Face brand sunscreen and Lubriderm lotion. This replenishes moisture to the skin and protects my skin from the sun.

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Finally, I apply Nars-brand tinted face moisturizer to my face. This, and a little bit of waterproof Maybelline mascara, acts as my only makeup for the day. (Did I mention how much I love the beach?)

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I create a cute braided up-do and it’s about time to refuel my muscles. My fuel of choice, post-run is either an Advocare Meal Replacement Shake with added wheat grass. (I promise it’s yummy.) Or I make veggie eggs and green juice. Check out the recipes and helpful tips below, and let me know your favorite beach hang out.

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Veggie Egg Muffins

  • 2 cups Eggbeaters (or four whole eggs)
  • 4 oz Mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup Mushrooms
  • 1 cup Spinach leaves
  • 1/2 cup Red peppers

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Dice mushrooms, spinach leaves and red peppers. Mix Eggbeaters, cheese, all veggies (feel free to add more). Spray muffin tin with butter/oil then fill each muffin cup evenly with egg, cheese and veggie – I used a 1/2 cup measuring cup to evenly fill.  Each cup should be about 3/4 full.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes. Muffins will keep in the refrigerator for about a week within freezing. Egg muffins can be frozen and reheated in the microwave—they make a great, quick breakfast or morning snack!

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Sand Running Tips:

  1. Start slow—your muscles, tendons, and ligaments need to get used to running on sand, so shorter distances are best.
  2. Never run on sand twice in a row. Further, I hesitate running on back-to-back days. Give your leg muscles some breathing room, and reduce injury that could result from over-working a specific muscle group.
  3. Alternate the use of low profile shoes (web shoes) and regular running shoes. Most people’s feet are used to having padding and support.
  4. Keep high cadence and do not worry about stride length
  5. Alter the depth of the sand, if possible. Hop from the thick, loose sand to the patch of thinner, pact sand… and back to the tough stuff.
  6. Be sure to download some Beach Boys tunes for your run!
May 22, 2013

Coffee Chats and Simple Facts

Morning-Routine

Stretching is best when muscles are warm, so consider jogging or jumping in place to wake up and get blood flowing to muscles.

morning-routine1 MorningRoutineCards1You know the drill… alarm goes off, you hit the snooze. Alarm goes off again, and you realize you’re ten minutes late and start brainstorming up-dos to compliment the “casual, professional outfit” you’re now putting together in your head. You run upstairs and start doing jumping jacks before you’re even completely awake. It doesn’t matter though–jumping actually masks the pounding in your head. After a set of fifty, you stop, grab a drink of water–rather chug as much as you can, not realizing the depth of your thirst. Okay, you’re awake. After you select your “upbeat” playlist, you hit the weights for today’s workout. An hour later, you’re in the shower, trying to not get your hair any wetter than it is. You justify not shaving because you’re wearing leggings today (part of the casual professional look you’ve designed in your head.) You complete a few deep breaths and realize today’s a pretty busy day. All good–you got your workout in, you feel stronger, and you can do everything! I love that feeling post-workout shower.

After packaging yourself into a sassy, just put together, yet stylish attire and putting the last hair pin into your up-do (just as the YouTube tutorial instructs,) you check your iPhone calendar to see what’s on tap for the day. A few meetings, a few errands, and a few reports needed by dinner time, which will be spent entertaining clients, so you better eat a snack before hand, so you don’t overindulged. This is truly the snapshot of the type of morning which usually fills my work-week. I’ve heard folklore about women waking up to quiet time, a reading nook of their home, and to a ceramic coffee mug full of a fine Cinnamon roast. Who are these women? I’d love to meet one some day. Meanwhile, a congested trail of thought continues to run through my mind as my Doberman jumps onto my lap to plant a wet one on my face. I can’t be mad. Besides my step-children, my fur-babies ( a word I swore I’d never use which taught me I should never again swear) are my only children. Unconditional love runs rampant among my Doberman, Maximus, and my Dachshund, Samson.
I immediately begin talking to my pups as I rub out the paw marks on my leggings and reapply my powder, and gloss. We have several songs we sing in the morning, but I’ll spare you for now, as I have another point to make with this blog. As I serve breakfast to the pups and to myself, I jot down notes for my day and sing one of our jingles. After we complete our morning routine, it’s time for me to trade my “pup-mom” hat in for my “business-woman” driving glasses. And I’m off to my first meeting of the day. Fast-forward five hours later, I’m “meeting fatigued” and returning to my home office for some reporting, blogging, and editing before sprucing up for the evening’s dinner. Alas, I am greeted by the most-grateful and loving pups that ever lived. I’m “guilted” into playing with them outside for a bit, ignoring my phone, emails, and followup items. Once we give adequate attention to each other, I hit the keyboard to close out my day and become entertaining again. The evening goes on without a hitch. Excellent conversation, new connections, amusing stories and ideas. Driving home, I start to replay the day, what I accomplished, and what will need to be tackled tomorrow.
As my head hits the pillow, I review my agenda book and see a note that is repeated several times throughout my agenda book. “Call Grandma Lucy.” I look over at the clock and it is 10:08 p.m. Grandma Lucy is a morning person, and probably half way into her second dream by now. Darn it. Another day lost, another conversation missed. I go to sleep, disappointed because I know I missed out. Grandma has the best stories. Her perspective is a refreshing change from the world my generation created, knows, and lives. She’s pretty funny too. She thinks everyone is too busy. “Too busy to talk on the phone,” she says. “I don’t like texting and emails. Oh but I do like that Facebook thing for the photos.”
On Tuesday morning, I woke up with a “thought hangover” about Grandma Lucy and my missed call. I decided to forgo my usual routine, grab a cup of coffee (in a ceramic mug) and dial Grandma’s number. She’s a morning person, and is probably up having her second cup of coffee at this point.
I drink my morning coffee out of a real, ceramic mug. It makes all the difference.

I drink my morning coffee out of a real, ceramic mug. It makes all the difference.

But what about my morning workout? My morning appointments? My obligations? They all got done… just a little later than usual. I brushed aside thoughts of being behind and late all day long, because I know I made Grandma Lucy’s day. I learned how attached to my routine I was, and it worried me a bit. It made me think about other missed opportunities I’ve had  because I was running through my day; hurried through my routine. My challenge for this summer is to implement: Summer of Daily Simplicity. A simple phone call. A simple cup of coffee. A simple hair-do. A simple kiss for my husband. A simple (and nourishing) breakfast. A simple prayer. The concept is that we overdo ourselves with schedule, routine, obligations, and eventual stress and health risks. With creativity and flexibility, I’ll get up earlier and slow down my morning routine . “But I have obligations, Lacey!” Indeed, and you can’t ignore obligations. But you can be creative, rearrange, and be kind to yourself when you don’t get it all done one day. If you just don’t see how, let’s chat. I have some suggestions. Be kind to yourself–you’re the only YOU we have. Grandma Lucy reminded me of that!
Consider what success looks like to you. Keep it simple and make it substantial.

Consider what success looks like to you. Keep it simple and make it substantial.