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Fun and Sun Weekend on the Horizon

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Happy Memorial Day to all my fellow SPARKIES. Thanks to those who serve and sacrifice for my freedom.

I will be off starting tomorrow for a glorious 4-day weekend, woo hoo and the weather is looking mighty fine. Sunny and in the 80's.

Tomorrow: 8-mile run, food shopping, lawn work [will be thinking of you 1HOTMOMMA2BE while I'm sporting the "dukes", lol] and an afternoon lawn chair siesta - heck yeah. Bought some goodies at the running store know new socks and a new headband will improve my run tremdously, gotta look the part ya know. I also bought some honey stinger waffles, they can very highly recommended by my Sparkette JLITT62, gotta maintain the fuel supply. I have to admit I busted open the package to try a bite yesterday - yummmy, yummmmmy.

Saturday: Strawberry festival parade [if I feel like getting out of bed early] then a blast at the beach- going away party - noon til whenever - a friend of ours is moving to Hawaii, darn his bad luck, eh? Wish I could be so lucky, lol.

Sunday: Cook-out at friend's house - bring on the turkey burgers and chef meg's three cheese macaroni

Monday: Chillin at the pool or beach

emoticonI've got my beach necessities already packed and ready to go:

Beach Towel - Check
Sunscreen - Check
Cooler - Check
Umbrella - Check
Beach Chair - Check
Book to read - Check - I just ordered "Born To Run" and it arrived just in time for some weekend reading in the sun
Sunglasses - Check
Ipod - Check

I'd like to give a shout-out to my creative friend SAMI199, who has made this weekend of relaxation possible. She got the monkey off my back so to speak. She challenged me to get an art project finished that I started and I did. She also did the artwork for t-shirts that I needed to make and they are done also. Thanks for your creative craftiness miss SAMI and for giving me the shove I needed to get it all done. Now I can relax....until the next project, lol.

This is the artwork SAMI designed for the shirt, I just love it.

Hope everyone enjoys a lovely Memorial Day Weekend, love to all.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHARON10002 5/29/2012 9:22PM

    Great job on the artwork, Sami!!! Lovin' those socks, too! Hope you had a rockin' awesomely fun and fantastic weekend!

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TOOTHFUL99 5/25/2012 9:24AM

    Hope your weather holds out. I thought i saw some rain headed that way.

For me it will be:

Saturday: Biking
Sunday: Biking
Monday: Biking
Tuesday: Biking

(Have to toughen my butt for the bike tour next week)

Have a great time!!

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SUEAZZI 5/24/2012 10:37PM

    Great design! WTG Sami! Sounds like an awesome 4-day weekend, enjoy every moment! I'm starting my Friday with a run, and the rest of the day odds and ends. This weekend I plan to relax by the bon fire, maybe go to a movie with DH, lounge on my deck and read and plant a tree. None of it in this order... just taking it as it comes and let spontaneity do its thing. Beach, now that's a destination to be considered!!

Comment edited on: 5/24/2012 10:38:33 PM

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SUSANSERENE 5/24/2012 2:02PM

    Sounds like you're going to have an AWESOME 4-day weekend! You've got it all planned and organized and I'm so happy for you! (a little envious, too!)

Relax, enjoy and take good care of YOU! Thank you for checking on me; you will never, ever know how much it means. emoticon

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JLITT62 5/24/2012 1:24PM

    Sounds like a divine weekend.

Well hey, now you've got someone to visit in HI! Definitely one of my favorite places in tbe world.

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2HAMSDIET 5/24/2012 12:58PM

    I love your shirts. Great job Sami. Enjoy every minute of your weekend. emoticon emoticon

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1HOTMAMA2BE 5/24/2012 11:11AM

    Gotta love the flip-flops! And your margarita socks rock!!!

Thanks for the shout out! It's funny how I think of you when trying to decide what to wear to clean the cracks and tighten the lawn. I'm still not ready for the daisy dukes. I will get there though!!! By Labor Day for sure. emoticon Need to give the neighbors something to talk about...might as well be me.

Sounds like a great four day weekend! Can't wait to see some pics and hear all about it!!!! emoticon

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QUILTINGB52 5/24/2012 10:49AM

    Love your crafty t-shirt!!! Sounds like you have wonderful plans for the weekend!!

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LAURELSPARK 5/24/2012 10:43AM

    I have a 3-day weekend....which makes me very happy. It sounds like you have some great stuff planned. It will be in the 90's here so we will have to do some careful planning. It probably will involve getting up and out before 8.

Have a great holiday weekend!

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SAMI199 5/24/2012 10:21AM


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NATPLUMMER 5/24/2012 9:25AM

    I'm taking a 4-day weekend, too :-)
I'll have to check the waffles out. I've got some of their chews that I like a lot.
Sounds like a great weekend ahead.

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Stairs or the Elevator

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Of course we all know that taking the stairs is so much better than taking the elevator. I heard a good one today....

Elevators are for freight !!!!!!!!!!!!!

Let us remember that, lol.

I work in a two story office and I only take the elevator down because I have almost face-planted three times in the last two days, how's that for being a totally clutzy doofus?

There's a piece of carpet loose and my heels catch it every time, thank goodness I was holding onto the handrail. I feel like people are watching "miss running lady" [that's what I'm known as to everyone in the building] take the lazy way, the elevator, lol. People judge but they don't know the real deal - let us remember that too.

Still racking up those smiley faces this month, so far so good.

Taking the running a little easy this week, recovery time from the weekend, nice run scheduled for Friday, so I'm off to the running store now to stock up on some energy gels, etc.

Getting Buff emoticon NO EXCUSES !!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHARON10002 5/29/2012 9:15PM

    Keeping yourself in one piece trumps the stairs anytime!

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SUEAZZI 5/24/2012 10:22PM

    I take the stairs as much as possible but sometimes taking the elevator is what ya gotta do! Have a terrific run Friday! Did you get new running shoes yet?? emoticon

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NEVERMIND2010 5/23/2012 11:34PM

    I take the elevator when I'm wearing heels, too.

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PARKERB2 5/23/2012 3:37PM

    I try to take the stairs when I can. If I continue to get clumsy, I will resort to elevators. I really don't like the closed in feeling of elevators. Have a good one.

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SAMI199 5/23/2012 3:08PM

    Stairs can be a problem since I "fell" & messed up my knee.
Safety 1st & the stairs when I can.

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Comment edited on: 5/23/2012 3:10:10 PM

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BEAR128 5/23/2012 2:32PM


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JLITT62 5/23/2012 2:27PM

    And well you should be recovering a bit!

That's funny - when we go on a cruise, we never take the elevators unless it's formal night & I'm in heels!

And I think you infected me - in a good way - had planned some clothes shopping along with grocery shopping today but realized I just didn't feel like it, so hit up both grocery stores instead of doing one today, one tomorrow & then went home.

Now for some healthy baking . . .

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1HOTMAMA2BE 5/23/2012 2:06PM


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GROEDER 5/23/2012 1:18PM

    Taking the elevator and staying upright so you can keep running is a very good thing!!!!!
Have a good run on Friday and a great weekend.

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NATPLUMMER 5/23/2012 1:05PM

    I only take the elevator if I'm carrying something big or if I'm with my boss.
Good idea recovering from that very long run.
Oooohhh...gels....are you going to look at shoes, too? ;-)

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Mental Roadblocks... What's Stopping You ????

Monday, May 21, 2012

There are all types of mental road blocks out there, otherwise known as self doubt signs... I Can't, I Shouldn't, I'm Afraid. Have you seen any of these signs?

I'm not afraid of a challenge as a matter of fact I LOVE a Challenge... BRING IT ON !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

My particular challenge has been my running. I've been able to comfortably run 13-14 miles, but last week's fail at 15-miles really made me start with the self doubt... I can't, my leg might hurt, what if my hip starts to hurt, a lot of what if's. Should I maybe not run that far again for fear of failing, fear of not being able to make it, fear of a little leg/hip ache afterwards. I really want to sign up for a marathon... but how can I possibly do that if I can't get past the "comfortable" run, do I have what it takes to train for that far?

My Sis decided that she would take the lead and map out the route for this week's long run (I usually do that). I kept asking all week, how far we running? where we running to? She said I should stop worrying about it and just show up, ready to run. Well I knew she was gonna put in a few extra blocks past my 14 mile limit (mental block limit), so I just decided to do what she said... Just show up.

We headed out at 0430 yesterday, it was really windy. We ran the oceanfront route we had run a couple weeks ago (not my favorite, but it was her turn to "map it out"). It was 7+ miles directly into a 20-mph wind, uggghh. It was totally grueling getting there, I kept telling myself... you can't pick your race day forecast, you have to run in whatever weather you are given, so I may as well suck it up and just "get there", and we did. Made a quick potty stop at the half-way point and then headed back, I was still really worried about the mileage since apparently our half way point was farther than last time, but I figured what's another 18 blocks, lol.

Heading back the wind was finally at our back - YEAH. Now a light mist was falling, uggh, a windy, cold mist, what next? My heart rate monitor stopped working, I freaked out about that one. Well since my HRM wasn't working I just had to listen to my body and not go by the numbers on the HRM. I think my HRM may also be contributing to my mental block. When I see the ole heart rate getting past a certain point, it scares me a tad, so I slow down, not really listening to what the body says. So maybe in a way, this was a great lesson too - don't let the HRM set limitations.

Sis said we were going to take a short cut on the way home, so I just followed her lead. We stopped three times on the way home, just long enough for a quick refuel/rehydrate (maybe 4 minutes tops).

When we approached the short cut I knew then I was doomed, lol....this was NO shortcut. I figured it at least added a mile or so onto our run, but I just kept going, now feeling a little tweaking in the hip, but nothing that I couldn't handle [was this a figment of my imagination for fear of going extra miles, or did it really hurt]. Yes it did "feel tweaky" but my sis talked me thru it and said that I should feel some difficulty and that if the pain was not unbearable then to just push thru it and see what happens.

We finished up our run, did our stretching and into the house we went. The DH and soon-to-be BIL had breakfast cooking, so Sis wanted to make the big mileage announcement at the breakfast table. She was the only one who knew how far we had run. Drum roll please......... 17.5 miles. Holy Ham, she tricked me...that was WAY more than 14 miles.

She said the reason she didn't tell me how far we were running is because she wanted me to get past my mental block, and guess what.... I'm over it. I busted thru that road block with the help of my SIS and her complete confidence in me and my abilities. What a super sister. Definitely signing up for a full-marathon now, both of us. What a super boost of confidence, when I surely needed it the most.

I did spend most of the day after our run relaxing on the couch, I did ice the hip and hamstring, it was a little sore after our run. DH was sweet to cook dinner last night. The hip is fine today, the hamstring is a little achy and sore, but all it all, I'm glad I got past my fear.

If I can overcome fear, so can you. Conquer yours today, you'll be glad you did.

DETERMINED to get bufff emoticon no excuses

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    THIS is one of my all-time favorite blogs! What an inspiration you and your sister are!

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SUEAZZI 5/24/2012 10:08PM

    Two peas in a pod, yup. Love your sister's thinking; sometimes we are better off not knowing what's ahead and surprise ourselves in the end as to what we are truly capable of. Marathon, yup, you've got this! emoticon

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SHARON10002 5/22/2012 10:09PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
Congratulations on breaking through that mental barrier!!!!
Great Blog!
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FLGIRL1234 5/22/2012 1:17PM

    That is fantastic! What an inspiration you are to me. I have running road blocks I need to get past too.

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2HAMSDIET 5/21/2012 8:56PM

    emoticon emoticonI use to have a friend that I would trick into walking further and further If I said we are going to walk way down there she would say she couldn't and stop and wait for me to come back. So I would pick a zig zag route. Amazing things the mind does to try and stop us. What a great sis you have. Enjoy emoticon emoticon

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    Awesome! I just want to be able to run ONE mile without stopping or feeling like I'm going to die!!!!! You rock! :)

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LAURELSPARK 5/21/2012 7:29PM

    Very motivating! I need to get over my mental block. I just need to get rid of all of the junk food in the house first.

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1HOTMAMA2BE 5/21/2012 2:13PM

    All I can say is, "WAY TO ROCK IT GIRL!" Wow! Great run. I can't imagine running that far at this point. No fear is right!

Congrulations! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DDOORN 5/21/2012 2:07PM

    Been there, done that SO many times...doubting myself when faced with a challenge and surprising myself with what I'm capable of accomplishing!

Spark ON! :-)


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GR8CGRM 5/21/2012 1:35PM

    Told you that you could do it sis.. Sometimes your younger sis knows you a little better than you know yourself.. We can do it!!!!! Marathon here we come!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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BRAVEHEART4ME 5/21/2012 12:38PM

  Wow, how exciting! Congrats and Good Job! emoticon

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KAREN_NY 5/21/2012 12:36PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

EXCELLENT!!! Congrats! Keep celebrating!

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ERLYWA 5/21/2012 12:17PM

    Wow, your sis is AWESOME!!! What a super way to help you get past your mental roadblocks!

Congrats on your LONG run! :)

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NATPLUMMER 5/21/2012 10:57AM

    Great run!! That is a big leap in mileage, though. I hope the hip and hamstring are okay with it today.

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MYLADY4 5/21/2012 10:41AM

    What an awesome sis fr helping and WAY TO GO!!!!

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SAMI199 5/21/2012 10:35AM

    JLITT62 is right-you should have had a cheering crowd-(late,but heartfelt...)

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YOU ROCK!!!!!!!!

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JLITT62 5/21/2012 10:26AM

    I would HOPE you relaxed after that!

I can imagine running that far with a flat course & cheering crowds . . . on my own? I'm sure I could, but I'm just too slow a runner & don't want to run that long!

That is a great sis.

And you're pretty awesome yourself.

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I've Created a Monster

Thursday, May 17, 2012

I was experimenting in the my laboratory [oops I mean kitchen] last night. Something sinister was a cooking...Muahahahahahahaha [cue the lightning bolt and the clap of thunder]. The DH has the look of terror on his face when I unveiled my latest creation.... Quinoa.

This was the first time I've ever tried it, not bad but I didn't care for the garlic flavor, it was too overpowering. I'm all about trying something new, at least once. DH ate a couple bites but he wasn't crazy about it. Next time I will flavor it myself and throw in some onions and veggies. I'm gonna keep experimenting with quinoa til I get it right.

Ground chicken patties with grilled pineapples turned out fabulous. I mixed ground chicken with garlic, salt, pepper, breadcrumbs, 1 egg and a tad of shredded parmesan cheese and grilled to perfrection, topped with grilled pineapples, served with a side of sweet and sour sauce and the leftover squash I had cooked the night before. Can you tell I LOVE TO EAT? It is so nice knowing I can have a plate of healthy food and be full and satisfied...
Satisfied in knowing I ate healthy and that I'm finding the joy of cooking. [Did I really just say that?]

This morning I decided to make my morning protein shake "GREEN". I've heard if you add spinach to a smoothie you can't taste it, well it's taken me about 2 months to work up the nerve to try this and... you CAN'T taste the spinach, unbelievable. It was pineapple vanilla flavored, but it was green, that kinda played tricks on my mind, almost thought I was drinking something lime by looking at it. So getting used to the color green is gonna take some work. Don't know what the health benefits of adding spinach to your smoothie are because 1/4 cup is only 2 calories and no other nutrition values that I could find. But that is all the rave now... Green Smoothies - I'm gonna call it a "Shrek-Shake".

Guess I've turned green, muahahahahaha.

Happy day to all.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHARON10002 5/22/2012 10:04PM

    Tried quinoa and don't care for it. I'll stick to brown and wild rice. . .
Loved this blog, too! Haven't tried spinach in a smoothie as yet. Maybe I'll buy some fruit this weekend and give it a whirl (no pun intended).

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JANEMARIE77 5/18/2012 8:49AM

    I tried and tried quinoa and I've decided no matter what i do I just don't like it much :( Now spinach in a smoothie is fad!!! but you do need to add more for any real benefits, promise you will not taste a thing. if the color is a problem buy a stainless steal cup keeps it cool longer ps make sure it has a hole for your straw. rocking the kitchen you go girl

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SAMI199 5/18/2012 5:04AM

    *Nose Scrunch* I tried it & I didn't like it... emoticon

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SUEAZZI 5/17/2012 10:43PM

    I cook Quinoa from time to time for an alternative to rice. I like to serve it with stir frys; sometimes even combine the two. I love to cook so I'm glad you are having fun experimenting in the kitchen! emoticon

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CHEERFUL-ALT-3 5/17/2012 1:47PM

    I put mine in an opaque glass and use a straw...try not to think about the color. Especially if it has spinach and blueberries in it...

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KANSASROSE67 5/17/2012 1:25PM

    Glad you tried the spinach in your smoothie. I add 2 cups of spinach to mine and still can't taste it!

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1HOTMAMA2BE 5/17/2012 1:10PM

    I wish I could be as happy as you. It's a new goal of mine. emoticon

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JLITT62 5/17/2012 11:57AM

    You're becoming a mad scientist! You're right, 1/4 cup won't do much for you . . . but you can add a lot more & greens are great for you - actually have a fair amount of protein.

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SHRINKINRUNNER 5/17/2012 11:39AM


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NATPLUMMER 5/17/2012 11:34AM

    I love quinoa...the garlic sounds fab to me!! Dinner sounds great :-)
Yay for spinach!!

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ELAINEROSE5 5/17/2012 11:04AM

    I make the Quinoa with fat free broth instead of water and usually eat it as a replacement for rice. It's really good if you make the crock pot chicken salsa (my favorite spark recipe) and serve it over the quinoa. A power packed meal for sure!!

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2HAMSDIET 5/17/2012 10:04AM

    They have it flavored? I guess I need to leave my small little town more often as I'm just happy they have plan in stock . I like it mixed with other salad things with a light vinegar/ little olive oil kind of thing. Last week I had some quinoa salad from the cosco deli that was very good. Keep trying new things you never know what you might be missing. emoticon

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MZSLYDE01 5/17/2012 9:59AM

    Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha - You crack me up.
I bought Quinoa about 2 months ago and have been contemplating how I am going to make it. I can't wait to try it. Mine is just plain but am thinking like you- Add some veggies and maybe a little seasoning. We shall see.
That smoothie looks great. I can't wait to make mine tomorrow. I love it - Shrek-Shake. Hee Hee.
Glad you finally tried it with the spinach.

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Life in the SPARK Lane

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

This blog was inspired by a road rage incident that happened to me yesterday on my way home. I was driving the speed limit (35) and this car was on my tail, and I mean on my tail [back-off Buster]. I dare not exceed the speed limit because I know this road is a speed trap, I travel this way every day and there is always a police officer strategically placed to catch the hot rods. I wish I had one of those digital signs in my rear window to inform the tailgating jack-arse that the speed limit is only 35, HELLO !!!!!

[Couldn't find the exact pic I was looking for, but you get the point]

I wanted to just throw my hands up and say, what the heck? [well not my exact words, lol]

He eventually went around me and gave me the one-finger wave, well sheesh, how rude. Anyhoo, I was thinking.....

Everyone is always in such a hurry. Whether in a hurry to get somewhere on the road, in a hurry to eat, whatever the hurry, it's always RUSH, RUSH, RUSH. Let me just say, that "life in the fast lane" will burn you out quick and "surely make you lose your mind".

[Make sure to crank up the volume, if you dare before clicking the link]

Looking back on my life, BEFORE beginning my SPARK journey, I was always in a hurry for something... running errands, kids to sports practice, dash in the market and pick up a frozen pizza, etc. Does this sound like your life? Being in the fast lane had its consequences, just to mention a few...

No time to plan - just wing it, I can always do it later [later never comes]
No time to prepare a meal - stop at the fast food drive-thru [that really packed on the pounds]
No time for exercise - well I'll just skip it [I never exercised, not a priority]
No time for me - I'll just take care of everyone else and not worry about me [you become your last priority]

Over 3 years ago I decided to take a detour from the fast lane and merge on over into the slower lane, I even took an exit I had never traveled before...

There was a huge WELCOME CENTER at the bottom of the exit ramp. I stopped to see what this was all about. There were lots of friendly tour guides [fellow Sparkers], and they were happy to explain their experiences on the Road to Success. The SPARK Guy gave me a huge welcome and directed me to just keep following the road. He said the road was filled with curves, hair pin turns, steep hills, an occasional road block, a couple of detours, etc., but assured me that if I kept going I would eventually reach my destination.

Along this road I have discovered it is so much better than the fast rushing, no erratic drivers, just happy sparkers all headed for the same destination.... SUCCESS. This path has allowed me to slow down and enjoy the scenery. In the SPARK Lane, I ...

Plan - no more wingin it, I plan weekly outings, physical activities, meals, etc.
Prepare a meal - I enjoy healthy meals and have learned to love cooking [somewhat, lol] - no drive-thrus for me
Exercise - it's a daily part of life, No. 1 on the priority list
Me - I have made myself the No. 1 priority, it takes some flexibility to carve out the time, but I've realized... I'm Worth It. I have discovered that I can amaze myself with the things I never thought I could do... and I'm Doing Them.

Most of all I have truly made myself HAPPY. You'll find me in this lane most of the time....Runner's Lane.

I encourage everyone.... Take your foot off the accelerator for a while - stop being in such a hurry - share this roadmap with others. Take the exit to SUCCESS, merge on over into.... LIFE IN THE SPARK LANE. You won't regret it.

Images from google.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHARON10002 5/22/2012 9:59PM

    Great blog about Life in the Spark Lane!!! I'm in total agreement. I'm so glad I made this turn!!!!

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JCBRITT 5/21/2012 12:21PM

    You are describing my life many of my days, but I am doing better to be mindful about finding time to make choices and fitting in "me" time. It just doesn't happen often enough, but the way time flies my kids will be gone. I can honestly say I've been happier with myself since becoming a spark than I have in 20 years. Work in progress, but moving in the right direction. DH and the kids see it and give me credit for trying.

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DDOORN 5/17/2012 11:25AM

    Great thoughts and congrats to your (and OUR) lifestyle changes! A little planning here and smelling the roses here and voila! Life can be SO much sweeter!


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JANEMARIE77 5/17/2012 7:54AM

    great blog awesome attitude its all in the way you look at things

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LISAINMS 5/16/2012 2:44PM

    Great blog. That was my life too!

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SUEAZZI 5/16/2012 1:46PM

    Simply fantastic post! Every now and then that fast lane creeps into my life and I pull out of it as quick as possible because it is a dead end. You cannot put a price on happiness. See you in the runner's lane! Stop and smell the roses, a lot to be said for that. emoticon

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BEAR128 5/16/2012 11:48AM

    Right on point with this blog, thanks for sharing.

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1HOTMAMA2BE 5/16/2012 11:03AM

    I hate it when someone is on my bumper so close that I can't even see their headlights. TOO CLOSE! I'm not even a slow driver which pisses me off even more. They might as well go around and get on their merry way. Butthead!

I used to be on high all the time. Running here and there. It took me 45 years to figure it out. Why? I still walk fast, but that's just my nature. I'm not in a hurry.

Thanks for sharing again. I love your blogs. You're such a good writer. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BUTTERFLY-1976 5/16/2012 10:50AM

    Thanks for posting this blog. It's so true & just what I needed to read this morning.

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NATPLUMMER 5/16/2012 10:50AM

What a jerk!! I hope that he got a ticket.

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IMSMILEY88 5/16/2012 10:16AM

    Great post! And, we do have to make our health a priority, right? And our families, too. For me, that means both making them healthy meals and setting a healthy example of exercising. Oh! And getting out there with my daughter and PLAYING!

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FARRAH511 5/16/2012 10:15AM

    emoticon emoticon

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JLITT62 5/16/2012 10:01AM

    This is so true! Wish DH would get the message.

Just put a spaghetti squash in to bake . . . haven't made one in yrs, but found a yummy-sounding recipe with coconut milk, parmesan & spinach . . . plus DH has some leftovers!

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SAMI199 5/16/2012 9:56AM

    This is amazing! You are so right....I use to wonder how you &others possibly found the time to actually run -now,I get it-
you have the energy because you take care of yourself!I am glad you pulled me back on the pavement-I was tired of spinning my wheels & digging myself in deeper. WooHoo SP!!!

Life in the Fast Lane-now stuck in


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