Friday, August 28, 2015

Barnegat Light, Long Beach Island, Jersey Shore photoblog

We're lucky enough to be able to sponge off some well to do relatives since we spend all our disposable income visiting relatives overseas. Once a year we are able to stay in BL, LBI on the jersey shore, NJ and get some good R&R. Here are our activities.

Love the cruisers and biking around, in fact we rarely use the car down there.

Some other well to do relatives have this amazing pool right by their amazing house, right off the beach, with amazing to die for views.

Despite the amazing beach nearby, the kids love the pool for variety.

An great little find of a gardeners garden right by the house. 

Hiking in the dunes and walking trails.

Lighthouse fishing pier and walkway jetty

Who doesn't like looking at boats?

And finding or collecting shells.

I love my water shots, some better than others.

They love the waves, boarding and generally the beach.

This has to keep our moral up till next summer!

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Saturday, August 22, 2015

Art class & party photos

Art is very therapeutic, I think it creates different neurons pathways in the brain. I've gotten my kids involved and being a non profit it is hosted by some wealthier folks. I was super impressed by the backyard and took pics.

When my house grows up can it look like this? Please?

Hmm statue, monument? Who cares, you are rich and you can waste it as you like! ;)

Is this the definition of endless pool? Borderless pool, either way it is gorgeous!

The other view of the backyard, from the house. Amazing...

Another angle, still amazing.

Does your cul de sac look like this? People used to be rich enough to enjoy properties like this, but economy is taxing everyone lately, boohoo yes I know.

They have a heated pool, of course, and I bet you didn't know they have a heated driveway! I never knew heated driveways were a thing. Until there was a snowstorm and she said not to worry we have a heated driveway! Ehhh ok, ;)

Scale for how big it is!

My 11 year old did this cityscape piece (above), a year ago and it was sold!

Art from another member

And another member

Some people in the group have amazing talent!

My 11 yr olds tea cup, both SOLD! 

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Sunday, August 16, 2015

Summer and fitness photo blog

Is it just me but is it a little easier to workout while on vacation? Working out while on vacation may just be a hike/walk/jog/swim/bike ride and so on.

Is it that we are away from our usual distractions and have no avoidance?

Is it that often we are in a swim suit and it reminds us of our fitness?

Is it that we often workout in a couple or family, since we often vacation with others?

Perhaps it is that we often buy or pack our meals and we ration meals out and have minimal snacks? Are we reminded that we eat too much when we have to pay/pack every meal?

Are we relaxed and intuitively know that we need to take care of ourselves and our bodies?

Is there nothing else to do but enjoy the physical activity and often outdoors? Are we too stuck inside our houses during the year and need to enjoy ourselves outdoors?

We don't often see physical activity as a chore on vacation, why is that?

Perhaps we need to incorporate some of the vacation habits during the year too.

Enjoy your vacation and make the most of physical activity.

If you find the answer to why we workout more during vacation, please let me know so I can incorporate during the year too.

Copyright images 2015

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Monday, August 10, 2015

My Favourite 6 Fitness & Health Apps | Eat well / Move well / Live well

A great guest post from Holly Brownlie of! 

My Favourite 6 Fitness & Health Apps | Eat well / Move well / Live well my favourite fitness and health apps

I personally love using technology to help me with my fitness goals. These apps provide me with motivation, organisation, education and save me time. Here is a list of my must-have free health and fitness apps:

1) My Fitness Pal

What it does: This app tells you the calorie, macronutrient and micronutrient information of just about every food you can think of. This calorie counting app is useful for eating a specific amount of calories so you can reach your goal, whether for muscle gain or fat loss.
What I use it for: I use it when applying the flexible dieting approach for fat loss. I find it very easy to use once I’ve persisted with it for 2 weeks. My clients have also given similar feedback. I also use it to work out the calorie content and macronutrient amounts for the recipes I create.

2) Pocket

What it does: You use it to save videos, articles and recipes to view later.
What I use it for: I’m really loving this at the moment! If I come across an article or video while scrolling on Facebook and don’t have time to read/watch it right away, I save it in Pocket for later. If I come across a recipe while using my phone, I also ‘Pocket it’ so I can look it up later and screenshot it to store permanently in Evernote (see below). I don’t like to screenshot recipes from my phone because I get much better quality on my iPad. Does anyone else do this, or am I just a OCD perfectionist?

3) Evernote

What it does: Evernote stores and organises all your notes and images in one place. It’s wonderful because once you’ve stored on it, it is there for you forever! Also, you can access it from any device – iPad, iPhone, laptop, desktop or computer. I guess it’s a little like Pinterest except it’s totally private and you can add notes below your stored images. After being told by Evernote enthusiasts for years that I should try it, I have finally gotten into it and LOVE IT! It took me a while to learn how to use it, so I plan on doing a blog in the future to help you get started so you don’t get frustrated and impatient (and almost give up on it) like I did.
What I use it for: At the moment I store all my recipes here and tag them as either ‘savoury’, ‘sweet’ or ‘drink’. It’s really easy to find what I’m looking for. In the interests of de-cluttering a little, I am going to start storing all receipts and business cards in Evernote too. I find de-cluttering is great for your mental health.

4) Clue

What it does: It is a period tracking app (guys you can skip reading about this one!). You record the signs and symptoms you experience throughout your menstrual cycle. It helps you understand your body more such as how your moods and energy levels are affected by your cycle. It also lets you know if your hormones and reproductive system are a little ‘out of whack’; for example, if you have a much longer period than usual that month. It can be used to help you to learn when you are fertile too, which is essential if you are aiming to fall (or not to fall) pregnant.
What I use it for: I use it to track my signs and symptoms. If your cycle is not ‘normal’, it is good to be aware so you can consider the things that affect it such as stress, sleep, exercise and nutrition. It is also nice to know approximately what day you are going to be experiencing PMS and getting your period on. I also use it as part of my contraception technique, the natural fertility awareness method (FAM).

5) Gymboss Interval Timer

What it does: Allows you to set up timers for interval training.
What I use it for: I have a gymboss interval timer (a small battery operated timer you clip to your clothing) which I use for interval training. However, if I am on holiday and don’t have it with me, then the free phone app version is very handy. I highly recommend it for interval training. It means you don’t have to keep looking at your watch and can just focus on your music and mindset to push you through your workout.

6) Fitstar Yoga

What it does: It teaches you yoga. It is literally like being a in yoga class. You start off with choosing your level and then doing an initial 19 minute session. Then they ask you to rate how difficult you found the exercises so they can customise the next workout for you. Every week you get one free indivualised yoga session. (There are also a number of ‘freestyle’ sessions you can do which are just generic workouts but are still great!)
What I use it for: I like to do a recovery session once a week. This free at-home yoga class is a great way of doing that. It is very relaxing and time effective. I love how my body moves much more freely after yoga (or a stretching session). It loosens all the joints and muscles very nicely. Tip – light a candle and do this in the evening. It’s a great way to wind down for bed.

Do you have any health and fitness apps you love?

Holly x

Thanks Holly, how did you like the apps post folks? Go ahead and check out her great blog.

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Friday, August 7, 2015

What's in your shopping cart? Pt 1

Treat yourself to things other than food, how about a spa day for working out for a week?

You are not obese cause you hate food! Of course, you may be obsessed with food, but what is in your cart lately?

I usually prefer organic produce where available and not too expensive. I keep thinking to have the dirty dozen list but never remember to bring it and it doesn't always work out with sales.

I do buy organic reduced fat milk, I just pay up to the outrageous $8 a gallon even tho sometimes regular milk is $2-3. Other dairy is organic maybe's, yes for yogurt but organic cheese is too expensive or unavailable so I get regular. I have learned to make yogurt, did you know it is EASY? I bet not. So I make it for me and as an ingredient for cooking or dips (tzatziki). My kids will eat homemade yogurt if I add applesauce or honey otherwise they take commercial single serves for packed lunch. I can also get them to sometimes eat wedge cheese and string cheese as they don't drink much milk.

I buy minimal meat and don't always buy organic or grass fed, depending on price as it is so expensive. I supplement with eggs for protein, tofu and beans and dairy and fish. I will always have some kind of shrimp, a salmon and a tuna can. I love canned sardines if my palate needs something exciting, yes sometimes my palate gets bored with boring tasteless western meals or I'll have a spicy cured ham or exotic cheese, havarti or brie anyone? Yes lots of calories, but a little can go a long way, I'm working on it!

I prefer to buy all sorts of beans, mainly dried but a few organic cans for emergencies. They are great for a summer salad quick lunch. You can save a lot by buying dried beans and soaking them yourself. Often I will cook the whole pack for an hour and then save half in the freezer for a future meal. Lately I've been experimenting with lentils, they don't need soaking and with a little salt and vinegar they can be a great side or main ingredient. I make bean salads in summer and bean soups for winter.

We buy any vegetable we like, need or is on sale. Usually organic but often from the farmers market which isn't certified. We usually buy salad ingredients, a cooked green, eggplant, zucchini, capsicum/peppers, cucumber, tomatoes, onions/green, potatoes, celery in winter, bok choy in summer, parsley, cilantro, dill, broccoli, and fruits. Our favorite fruits are bananas,  mandarins, grapes, kiwis, apples, oranges, grapefruit, all sorts of berries and more. In the winter I buy all sorts of pumpkins and winter squashes for roasting and soups. Curried pumpkin soup is the best.

We buy a sweet snack for the lunch box and dessert, yes we need to eliminate this but we are working on it. Usually choc chip cookies and ice creams, yes I love chocolate bars too - can u tell? We buy a cracker type of snack for lunch boxes or quick snack, yes would be nice to plan everything but with today's lifestyle it is inevitable that a meal is missed.

Lately we have a glass of wine or two, we go off and on having any wine or beer. I've tried organic wines and didn't love them so we do anything from Trader Joes merlot (my favorite cheapie) to a large wine bottle of anything else. Yes must cut it out, too many calories and doesn't help pre diabetes. But it spices up a boring diet and relaxes you after a long day.

We have granola bars for a quick on the go breakfast or snack, again would be good if we planned every single meal but realistically one will get missed.

We only buy two oils as they are the healthiest, extra virgin olive oil (can't beat the taste) and canola oil for cooking and no flavor. We do use spread but prefer the natural kinds, and butter for baking/cooking.

We buy organic or farm eggs, funny how with some things we are willing to spend more than others. I love my local farm fresh eggs, I can't/won't eat cheap battery farm eggs anymore.

We eat lots of nuts and seeds, my favorites are pumpin seeds, macadamias, almonds, walnuts and so on.

We don't buy a lot of canned foods but prefer jarred cans as they are usually BPA free. We always have on hand tomatoes canned, jarred artichoke, roaster red pepper, a dried mushroom variety, pickled something, . We make our own stock from chicken bones or leftover boiled water from organic vegetables.

Of course we do have starches but prefer whole wheats such as bread, bagels, english muffins, wraps or tortillas, waffles at a minimum.

For baking I have wholewheat flour, white organic or natural unbleached, all sorts of additives such as flax seed meal, corn meal and more. I do always have an emergency packet of cake mix for the last minute "Mom I need to bring something'. But I usually like to experiment with natural mixes of my own for baked goods. Hubby will insist on pancake and waffle mix too as he usually makes a special breakfast on weekends.

OK, that is plenty for this post, but I'm sure I've forgotten something so I assume I will add to this in a future post.

What's in your cart?


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