Sunsets and Clouds…

I love sunsets. I love clouds. Tonight on my walk/run, I got some of both. God is good. 

Praying for Chattanooga. 




Happy Monday!

Happy Monday, folks!

Hope your week is off to a good start! I was MIA last week as I spent the week fretting over a sick kitty. She’s still at the vet and hopefully will be on her way home by Wednesday. Say a little prayer for her if you would.

I started a study on the book of Proverbs from Morning Girls). Pretty excited about that…studying alongside some sweet and wonderful ladies.

Also, my friend April and I started working with a personal trainer. Umm…that was “fun.” Less exciting and much more sweaty than Bible study. I have a cholesterol number to get down and some weight to get rid of, so here’s hoping that paying the trainer will be motivation enough. (I did lose 5 pounds last week fretting over that kitty.)

So I’m spending some time tonight reworking my menu plan to fit with my new eating guidelines. Sigh. I wish I could just eat lemon cake from the Boll Weevil Cafe and get skinny. I’d be really thin really quick.

Hope you all have a wonderful week!


Dinner is served! 

Dinner is served!

It’s been one of THOSE weeks (or two)…lots of busyness has gotten in the way. 

And I have been a slacker blogger. Truth. 

I did make a real dinner tonight. Grilled chicken over pasta with Alfredo with grilled veggies on the side. I also got a walk in with my bestie AND a run in with the boy child. (I may regret that tomorrow.)

Hope you’re having a great week! I’m going to watch “Nashville” and work on a menu plan for next week. These weeks without them are hard. I ALWAYS regret not making a meal plan, and NEVER regret making one. 

(Self, take note of that statement!)

Have a good night! 



Monday, Monday

Good Monday morning!

I hope your week is off to a great start! What’s on your agenda today? I have on my list: exercise, Bible study, work, and a Meatless Monday dinner.

I’m still menu planning (tonight is the last one I have planned) and I need to fit that in some time today if we’re going to eat the rest of this week! 😉

I’m also going to work on my first “home beautification” project. I’ll start on it tomorrow. But I’ll share a “before” picture later today.

Y’all have a great day! It’s exercisr time for me.


Happy Wednesday!

Good morning and Happy Wednesday!

First, a huge WELCOME to all of you new to Living Simply. I’m so glad you’re here and hope you’ll find something here that will help you in your quest to live a simpler, healthier life. 🙂

I’m switching my menu plan around a little and having our leftover buffet tonight instead of tomorrow…mainly because my fridge is FULL! We’ll have the pasta I was planning tomorrow instead.

Have you made your lists for a welcoming front door/porch/entry yet? If so, what is on them? I’m hoping to work on painting our front porch tomorrow. Praying the heat lets up a little…when there is a 100+ degree heat index, painting outdoors is really unappealing.

I’ve gotten my exercise in, my load of laundry done, and now I’m off to work.

I hope everyone has a great day!



Health & Fitness Challenge, Part 3 (I think)

Hi, all!

Hope you had a good weekend and a great Monday!

It’s been rainy for the last couple of days around here…makes me want to be lazy…sadly, that hasn’t happened yet. I’m hoping for a chance on Wednesday. 🙂

My challenge to you this week is get yourself a journal (or notebook of some sort) and start writing down what you eat every day. This is piggy backing (probably shouldn’t have used the word “piggy”) on the last two weeks’ challenges: exercising and resting. This is just step number 3 in our quest for better health.

AND find someone you can share the journal with. Someone who can look at it and see what you’ve been up to food-wise. Knowing that someone is going to see what you’re eating makes you a little less likely to scarf down that candy bar. For me, at least, that’s a motivator.

So here’s what we have so far in what is, I guess, a lifestyle change/fitness challenge.

1. Get some exercise 6 days a week.
2. Get some rest during the day and get enough sleep at night.
3. Keep a food journal/diary.
4. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.
5. Trade unhealthy snacks for healthier, whole food – REAL food – choices.

I had to go to the funeral home tonight and after throwing several outfits on the bed because they have gotten too tight in the last couple of months, I have really gotten motivated to up the exercise ante.

So let’s get to it, shall we?


P.S. Another good thing to do is to take “before” weights and measurements. If you can get your body fat percentage checked, do that, too. And you know I’m a fan of “before” pics.

Hey, there!

Hey, there!

I just realized that I haven’t posted to the blog since last Wednesday. Oops! I (frequently) forget that things I post on Facebook don’t go to the blog and vice versa. I have posted some stuff on Facebook. I didn’t mean to neglect y’all.

So…how are we doing with our exercise AND rest? If you remember, last week’s challenge was to add both to your daily life. We need exercise to keep us as healthy as possible and we need rest for the same reason. (On a side note, our pastor’s sermon this week was on – you got it! – rest.) I’m going to have to say that I did pretty good last week. I got exercise in five days out of seven. And I think I only missed one day of sitting down and “taking a breather” for a few minutes every afternoon. I more than made up for it with my 2+ hour nap on Sunday afternoon, though. 🙂

Because it’s summer and it’s HOT (!!!), I think we will just continue with this challenge this week and add on another little component: trading an unhealthy snack for a healthy one. So…instead of ice cream, have yogurt. Instead of a piece of candy, some fruit. Ice cold watermelon…mmmmmmm! That’s what I’m talking about. If you’re feeling motivated, start journaling or tracking what you eat. I’ve got a journal where I’m writing down motivational quotes and such. I’ve been tracking what I eat on the “Lost It” app for the iPhone. If I remember to carry my phone, it also tracks how many steps I take in a day. Did you know you should aim for 10,000? However, I’m prone to sitting my phone down and therefore missing out on that part of it. I did get over 10,000 steps on the day I remembered.

So that’s this week’s challenge:

1. Exercise a little every day.

2. Rest a little every day.

3. Trade unhealthy snacks for healthier ones.

It helps me to write down my goals. So if you do have a  journal, you might write these three things down and then on a daily basis, honestly assess how you did. No one has to see it but you, so tell yourself the truth! 🙂

Oh, and keep hydrated! Again, it’s HOT here and I can’t be out there more than a few minutes without feeling parched. (I said that in my head in my best sweet Southern voice.) So drink your water!

It’s time for my few minutes of quiet so I’m off to do some deep breathing.


P.S. Here’s my quote for the day: “What you do today can improve all your tomorrows.” ~ Ralph Marston

Happy Monday!

Good Monday morning!

We are packing and getting ready to head out on our little adventure. I’m excited to have a couple of days away!

Remember to be quiet and still for five minutes some time today. It may not be easy to squeeze it in (but if you can’t find five minutes, we will be addressing your schedule soon!), but it will be worth it. I try for 15 minutes total – five minutes morning, midday, and after dinner.

And don’t forget to move that body today! I’m hoping for a hike this afternoon myself, but any movement is good for you. Your body wasn’t meant to be sitting on the couch all day. (Sorry!)

Y’all have a good one. I’ve got to finish packing! 🙂


When You Just Don’t Want To __________________.

Beautiful sunset

Beautiful sunset

Happy Monday!

How many times have you said, “I don’t want to _______”? I’ve said it more than once just today! Sometimes when I say it to myself – because I don’t usually say it out loud – inside my head I hear myself in a whiny voice and see myself stomping my feet like a little kid. 🙂 I did say it to myself this afternoon when I didn’t want to run because it was hot. As in, summertime hot and humid. Ugh! But…I ran anyway. And the picture above is what I saw while I was out there running. I would have totally missed that if I had stayed inside where it was nice and cool. How often do we miss out on beautiful, wonderful things because we just don’t want to do something? We miss out on blessings. On friendships. Relationships. Joy. Experiences.Opportunities. Accomplishments. Contentment.

I know I keep relating a lot of things to eating and exercising choices because that’s just where I’m at. I’m at a “certain age” where I’ve come to realize that it’s now or never. The longer I wait to make changes that positively affect my health, the harder it will be to make them. I then I’ll be a gray-haired lady stomping my foot like a four-year-old and yelling, “But I don’t want to!” when my doctor says that I have to exercise and eat better in order to feel better and live longer. I WANT to be healthy. I WANT to feel good. But I do not always WANT to do what it takes to get there. Having the knowledge about what you should do and actually getting motivated to do them are so so  very far apart sometimes. For me, anyway. Replacing a bad habit with a good one can be done.  It’s just not usually fun. And we don’t like to do things that aren’t fun for us. Human nature and all that.

So in my quest to be more healthy and active, I keep trying new things. More exercise. Different exercise. Running…gotta do it every day now. Yoga…love! Cutting out processed foods…research, label reading, planning ahead. So now – and this is all Kathryn’s fault! (and feel free to tell her I said so if you know her) – a 21-day cleanse/detox. Seven things to cut out for twenty days. Three weeks. Psh. Surely I can do that, right? Then…(insert dramatic and dark moody music here) – the list of things to eliminate.

1. Soy

2. Alcohol

3. Corn

4. Dairy/eggs

5. Wheat

6. Peanuts

7. Sugar

And #8 – which is optional – caffeine. As in coffee. Coffee, people! Because I like my coffee with half and half (#4) and sugar (#7), it would be three “no-no’s” in one cup. So do I drink it black (YUCK!) or go without for 21 days? I am (and I reserve the right to change my mind, possibly more than once) opting to do without. I’d rather not have it than have it and it taste yucky to me. Y’all should probably start praying for my family now. It’s entirely possible that I won’t be very nice for the next few days. I’m assured that that will pass. 🙂

Now, my challenge to you this week is not the same as mine. My challenge to you is to do two things. One is food-related; one involves the dreaded “e” word.

1. Make one positive change in your eating habits.

Cut out or reduce your soda intake. Drink more water. Eat fresh fruit every day. Try a new veggie. Try a day that you go meatless. Eliminate one processed food from your diet that you eat regularly. You decide. Just one thing. I know you can do that.

2. Make one positive change in your exercise habits.

If you don’t exercise at all, start. Walk around the block. If you can’t do that, walk half a block. Try a new class – yoga, Pilates. Start gently. Like…don’t start with a kickboxing class if you’ve been a couch potato for a while, I don’t want you to fall out in the gym. (As always, consult your doctor if you need to. Don’t jump in without taking your current health situation into account.)

So two changes. Small ones. You can do that, can’t you? I’m confident that you can! Totally and completely confident. And I know that you will be rewarded with blessings. A sense of accomplishment. Feeling better – both physically and about yourself in general. Some increased self-confidence. Get a walking buddy and watch your friendship blossom and grow. And you might just be blessed with a view like I had today.



P.S. Should my next few posts seem crabby and snippy, remember: caffeine withdrawals. Just warning you. 🙂



Motivational Quotes About Health & Exercise

Okay…I have a list of quotes for various parts of my life that I need to work on. I keep them handy in a binder. Sometimes I read through the whole list. Sometimes I just look at the ones I need at the moment. Since my last couple of posts have been about health and exercise, here are my top 15 favorite quotes about that.  Some are good to contemplate. Some are humorous. Healthy living is a journey. Laughter is good medicine, so why not a funny quote about it? In fact, I’ll start the list with my favorite funny quote. (I think it’s funny anyway. Could be my strange sense of humor, though. )

1. “Worrying about your gray hair when your weight is soaring out of control is like mowing your lawn while your house is on fire.” ~ Edward Ugel

2. “Patients should have rest, food, fresh air, and exercise – the quadrangle of health.” ~ William Osler

3. “There are really two requirements when it comes to exercise. One is that you do it. The other is that you continue to do it.”

4. “You can’t lose weigh by talking about it. You have to keep your mouth shut.”

5. “More die in the U.S. from too much food than too little.” ~ John K. Galbraith

6. “Your body is the baggage you must carry through life. The more excess the baggage, the shorter the trip.” ~ Arnold Glasgow

7. “Another good reducing exercise consists of placing both hands against the table edge and pushing back.” ~ Robert Quillen

8. “Aerobics: A series of strenuous exercises which help convert fats, sugars, and starches into aches, pains, and cramps.”

9. “If hunger is not the problem, then eating is not the solution.”

10. “Living a healthy lifestyle will only deprive you of poor health, lethargy, and fat.” ~ Jill Johnson

11. “Don’t eat anything your great-great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food.” ~ Michael Pollan

12. “What you eat in private will show up in public.”

13. “The road to success is dotted with many tempting parking spaces.”

14. “It’s not the minutes spent at the dinner table that put on weight; it’s the seconds.”

15. “A diet is the penalty we pay for exceeding the feed limit.”

Hope you find a few of these motivating enough to get you (or keep you) on track to a healthier life.

Have a great day!