CGjenny

6 Years of “Faking it ‘Til I’m Making It”

This memory popped up on Facebook this morning:

6 years ago
6 years ago

 

This was 6 years ago. See, unlike a lot of people who’ve stopped drinking, I don’t remember the date that I stopped. I know that i had several starts and stops on the way to being done. I vividly remember quitting 7 years ago, but then we went on vacation and, well…that was that.

So, when this showed up on Facebook this morning, it reminded me that this was the true end of my drinking. I quit drinking a month or so prior to this and immediately signed up for a 5k…because that’s what people do when they’re ready to better themselves, right? Take up running?

Except that I hated running. HATED it. I’ve always hated it. Whereas many people say that running is “their therapy,” when I run long distances, my brain immediately goes to work trying to talk my way out of running. Alas, I did a “couch to 5k” kind of thing and then completed this race. I felt so good about myself, for breaking old cycles and reinventing myself–also, my hip flexors were seizing up and this awkward stance was all I could muster. But I was truly faking it during this time in my life.

Today, that life feels like eons ago. I had a 2 year old and a 4 year old then. I was in the thick of it for sure…in the weeds. I wasn’t sure what I was doing, who I was or where I was going but I knew that drinking wasn’t going to help and I was amazed that I had given it up–although probably unsure if it would stick.

Now, 6 years later, I’m not that same person anymore. I’m infinitely more confident in who I am. I’ve broken some nasty habits and cycles and I’m more forgiving of myself. And, while I don’t run long distances anymore, I do run several times a week at bootcamp and (dare I say it?) I don’t hate it. And…I’m even kind of good at it.

I think that the re-invention of myself during this time was necessary though. I had to shed that old skin–which made me tender and vulnerable for a time–but now I have a thicker skin that’s strong, durable, shiny and comfortable.

Just for comparison, this is after one of my bootcamp classes a couple of weeks ago. Stronger, confident and gentler with myself.

If you’re on this journey to better yourself, be gentle. Acknowledge how tender you might be and be patient around that. It gets better and more normal and, before you know it, you’re doing it.  Fake it ’til you make it and suddenly, without fanfare, you’ll find that you’re making it.

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CGjenny

Frugal Friday Favorites

…in which Jenny tells you about all of the stuff that everyone else on the internet has been raving about for months. You’re welcome. 

(Also, this post contains affiliate links, which help to support the care and upkeep of this blog. Thank you so much!) 

La Croix Peach-Pear:

I’d heard about the La Croix peach-pear sparkling water, but hadn’t tried it until this week. I saw it at my grocery store and, since my kids really like sparkling water and will sometimes choose a sparkling water over a soda when it’s time for a weekend treat, I thought we’d try this flavor. Oh my word. LOVE IT. It’s perfect on its own, or, you could be like me and add a splash of orange juice, for a sweet afternoon treat before heading to the bus stop. My kids are similarly obsessed with this flavor of La Croix. I’m going to go ahead and declare it to be The Official Spring Break Drink of The Jurica Family. Try it and I promise you’ll love it too (unless you don’t like peaches or pears or, you know, joy in your life).

Soap and Glory’s Sugar Crush:

I saw Megan and Wendy talking about Soap and Glory’s Sugar Crush body lotion in their February Favorites video this week. Needing some new lotion in my life, and being a sucker for cute packaging, I found myself with a bottle of this stuff shortly after viewing the video.

Soap And Glory Sugar Crush 3-in-1 Body Lotion 500ml–$12.00

Two things have me crushing (Ha! See what I did there? Sugar Crush?)  on this lotion: First of all, the formula is good. Real good. I don’t like a thin lotion that soaks into your skin immediately, leaving you feeling as dry as you were prior to lotion application. This lotion is just thick enough for my sensibilities but not so thick that it feels heavy and gross.

And, most importantly, the scent. Cheese and crackers, you guys! I can’t even describe how much I love the scent! I don’t typically like to smell like food, but the lime scent is perfect and it has a musky, vanilla undertone too–just enough to keep it from smelling straight-up like key lime pie. I used this lotion before bed the first night that I had it and then laid in bed and sniffed myself for probably an hour. I haven’t been this excited about a lotion in a long time! I think that the price is very reasonable for this lotion too. At $12 for 16 ounces, it feels like a much more expensive lotion. As a result, these items are next on my list to purchase:


Soap And Glory Sugar Crush Moisture Extreme Body Buttercream 300ml


Soap And Glory Sugar Crush Fresh And Foamy Body Wash Sweet Lime Fragrance 500ml

 

And lastly, Blogilates:

Image: www.blogilates.com

 

I’ve been doing Blogilates for my morning workouts this week. Truth be told, I’ve gotten bored with my usual workout routine and needed to change it up. Blogilates has a zillion workouts, all with different target areas or workout styles. I’ve been enjoying the more Pilates-style workouts (holy ouch!) and then the other day, I did a 12 minute long stretching video, which was much-needed and really helpful.

Best of all, her videos are available on YouTube (link HERE) and are all FREE. I also really like that I can chose to do a quick workout or a longer one, based on how I’m feeling that particular day. Yes, Cassey is extremely perky and cute (perhaps a smidgen too perky and cute for 6:30am) and the music is a little too “pop” for my liking, but whatever. I love the versatility of the workouts. It’s just what I’ve needed to get me motivated after just “going through the motions” for the past month.

Hooray for Spring and new sparkling water flavors, workouts and lotion scents to obsess about! Tell me what you’re obsessing about these days!

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CGjenny

Frugal Friday Favorites

Since we’ve tightened up our budget and, based on the responses that I got from my last Frugal Friday Favorites post (link HERE), a lot of you are in budget-mode too, I’m continuing on with free or inexpensive favorites this week. I’d love to hear yours too!

First up is my homemade facial cleanser. It contains 2 ingredients…yes, 2. And costs very little to make. Also, I love the way it makes my skin feel. Winning!

Ingredients:

Castor Oil

Coconut Oil

Depending on your skin, you might start with equal parts castor oil and coconut oil (this is what I do for my normal skin). If you have oily skin, you’ll want to do 1 part coconut oil to 3 parts castor oil. For dry skin, do 3 parts coconut oil to 1 part castor oil.

Here’s how I use it: I keep my jar of the oil cleanser next to my sink in the bathroom. I take a fingerful of the goop and smear it on my face. Then I brush my teeth, letting the oil sit on my face. After that, I get in the shower and use a how, wet washcloth to gently begin wiping the cleanser off. Along with it, the dirt and makeup comes off as well.

With all of this oil, you’d think that you’d get out of the shower feeling like a greasy-ball, huh? Amazingly enough, no. My skin always feels plump and hydrated (like after a facial) but not at all greasy. In fact, I’m typically ready to put my various night serums, lotions and potions on shortly thereafter.

Next up is a recipe that I made this week that cost me nothing to make! We had all of the ingredients on hand–and the family devoured it.

 

It also fed us for two dinners and was great for reheating for hurried before-after-school-activities-meals. Link HERE

Image courtesy of: http://www.5dollardinners.com/cheeseburger-skillet/

 

Finally, a workout program that costs only $2 a month:

Image courtesy of www.mommastrong.com

 

I’ve talked about Momma Strong before. It’s an online workout (geared towards women–moms specifically–but there’s also now a Papa Strong workout for the menfolk) that is only $2 a month. I’ve been doing the Daily 15 workouts for many months, but fell off the wagon over the Holidays (and, for only $2 a month, I didn’t feel too bad about jumping ship). At the beginning of this month, I was really ready to get back to the program. I started The Hook–a 28 day strength challenge earlier this month. It’s also a 15 minute a day workout. This, coupled with my daily dog hike, has gotten me back on track.

It’s also good to sign up for and honor a commitment. Another integral part of the whole Momma Strong community is an active Facebook group, where you can ask questions and get accountability buddies. It’s an incredible group of people who are supportive and at all different levels of health and fitness. Again…all of this is included in the $2 a month fee.

What are your current Frugal Friday Favorites? 

Continue reading “Frugal Friday Favorites”

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CGjenny

Drinking at the gym

…and why it makes me angry. 

I joined a Crossfit “box” (that’s what they call a gym in Crossfit lingo) a couple of years ago. I was looking to challenge myself physically a bit more than my classes at the YMCA could provide for me and I wanted to maybe even meet some people; make some friends who were interested in a healthy lifestyle. 

So, I joined a box in my area and showed up for my first class. As the front desk person was giving me a tour, she showed me the refrigerator that was stocked with bottles of water for purchase. I also noticed that the entire lower shelves were stocked with beer. I thought that was odd, but chalked it up to the owner maybe enjoying a cold beer when she was up there doing paperwork or cleaning or whatever. Who am I to judge?

Then, I started getting emails about a special Friday afternoon Crossfit class that ended with a “Happy Hour.” The photos showed up on my Facebook feed of the class participants, still sweaty and dirty from the WOD (workout of the day) doing handstand/kegstand-type of maneuvers, guzzling beer like college students. This rubbed me the wrong way. 

Then, at the holidays, there were several social get togethers both at the gym and at the owner’s home where alcohol was predominantly featured–and I don’t mean a festive glass of wine–I mean jello shots and beer bongs. 

It was very common for my fellow classmates to show up for the Monday morning class hungover, reeking of alcohol from the weekend before, complaining (or bragging?) about how much they’d had to drink over the weekend and commiserating over shared weekend shenanigans with fellow classmates and even coaches. 

All of this really made me angry. 

First of all, I joined a gym to try and engage in a healthy lifestyle. I hoped to surround myself with people who were health conscious and maybe not still drinking like college-age people at my age (40-something). Some of these heavy-drinking classmates were also mothers like me. I knew that I absolutely didn’t want any part of that scene.

Also, I learned that the owner of the gym is a recovering addict herself. I can’t speak to her current sobriety, but she was prominently featured in all of the social media photos cheering on the shot-taking and jokingly holding the beer bong for other gym members at the Friday Happy Hour class. 

Long story, short: Due to a handful of factors, I canceled my membership to this gym. I’m not going to lie–the college student-like approach to drinking and socializing was a big factor, as was the owner’s laissez faire attitude about the drinking habits of the other gym members.

All of the drinking that was going on at the gym and with other gym members didn’t trigger me or make me want to drink–quite the contrary–but I did feel excluded. I had hoped to make a few connections at this gym, but it became clear to me that if you didn’t go out and drink with everyone else, you weren’t “part of the club” and this quickly became a “club” that I didn’t care to be a part of.

From what I see though, my experience at this “box” isn’t necessarily an isolated scenario. I see more and more gyms luring members with promises of social gatherings at local breweries and wine tastings and happy hour classes that end with drinks. I mean, there’s even a Wine Workout that someone came up with. I’m sorry, but…WHAT?

Image: www.greatideas.people.com

 

I’m not judging people who can drink socially but I’d really like to see a gym or a fitness professional NOT advocate drinking. Just for once. Not only is drinking your calories not a good idea if you’re trying to lose weight, but it’s also a dangerous habit to introduce to your members. 

Can we really not do anything without alcohol? Can’t we go for a few days a week without drinking alcohol, or is that unfathomable? 

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CGjenny

2017 goals

I’m an action-oriented, list-making type of person, so I enjoy the beginning of a new year and all of the promise and potential that it holds. I’ve never really been a resolution-maker but lately, I’ve grown accustomed to setting some goals and intentions for myself at the beginning of the year. 

This year, I have some goals and I thought I’d share them here, in the hopes that they’ll inspire you and also hold me accountable.

Without further ado, here are my goals for 2017…

Continue reading “2017 goals”

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CGjenny

A sober holiday gift guide

Sober gift guide

This time of the year, alcohol is front and center–have you noticed?

Whether it’s the assumption of alcohol-fueled festivities or the giving of every kind of alcohol (and alcohol accessory) as a gift, for a non-drinker, it can feel as though the cards are stacked against you when trying to find a gift that doesn’t involve alcohol.

Let’s face it: giving alcohol as a gift is sometimes a no-brainer. Who doesn’t want to receive a nice bottle of something? A person who doesn’t drink–that’s who.

From elaborate wine bags for gifting bottles of wine, to gift sets that include flasks, martini shakers and fancy glasses–at every turn, all you see are alcohol-themed gifts–many of them making light of alcohol abuse.

craftbeer

Hilarious to some, but a stark reality to many.

Now, (this is disputable to be sure) I’m not a fuddy-duddy AND–get this–I’ve even been known to give alcohol as a gift since I’ve been sober, but it can also feel very daunting to think of a gift to give a non-drinker this time of year when you’d rather encourage healthy habits. Also, if you’re newly sober and trying to find gifts to give to your friends and family who do drink alcohol, you certainly wouldn’t want to trigger your own demons by going on a shopping spree at the local liquor store in order to make your friends and family happy.

So, to help you, I’ve compiled a few gift ideas for non-drinkers that will delight everyone on your list–drinkers or not.

 

sobergiftguidenumbered

 

 

1: Teavana

Maybe, like me, you’ve passed Teavana in your local mall or shopping area. It’s a quaint, adorable shop that smells lovely–like the most fragrant teas on the planet. Maybe, (also like me) you’ve thought, “What a bizarre thing to sell in the mall.” In my opinion, there isn’t anything wrong with buying your tea–you know…like the rest of the country–in your local grocery store. Ain’t nothing wrong with a little Celestial Seasonings, amIright?

So, when I visited my dear friend this fall and she pulled out her collection of beautiful Teavana tins, full of the most lovely-smelling herbal teas I’d every sniffed, I opened my eyes to Teavana (and ended up leaving her city with a nice supply of newly-purchased Teavana teas to take home with me).

The best holiday gifts are those that the recipient might not buy for themselves and Teavana definitely fits this bill. Their teas feel decadent and the packaging is beautiful.

2: Erin Condren planner

I know that once I got sober, I really craved lots of order and planning-ahead in my life. I liked to feel like I was in control of my life (in every aspect). One thing that I did right away was buy a planner and got my life in order. I still live and die by my calendar/planner, despite my husband’s head-scratching over why I won’t just embrace Google Calendar for once and for all.

Erin Condren makes a lovely, personalized planner that you can “pimp out” with all kinds of add-ons and stickers. It’s a bit pricey, so that really makes it a lovely gift for someone who might not want to spend that kind of money on themselves. Plus, if it’s a gift that they end up enjoying, you’ve got a built-in gift for next year as well.

3: Art Naturals Essential Oil Diffuser 

Essential oils are everywhere these days. Just ask any oil aficionado and they’ll give you a “recipe” for which oils to diffuse, given any obstacle. Apparently, there’s even an oil blend for sobriety.

An Essential Oil Diffuser and some essential oils are a brilliant gift to give someone who needs a little clarity, relaxation and peace in their life.

4: Spotify

I love music and music has gotten me through some rough patches in my life for sure. But, do you know that I still won’t pay for Spotify and instead suffer through the annoying ads every 30 minutes? How nice would it be to give someone the gift of a Spotify membership?

5: Cook Smarts

You know how I feel about Cook Smarts. Did you know that you can gift someone with a subscription to their meal planning service? What a wonderful gift for someone who’s interested in cooking more in the New Year but is intimidated by meal planning and cooking techniques.

Cook Smarts also has a fabulous 2017 Cook Smarts Calendar. It’s like gifting 13 beautifully designed, colorful cooking lessons for less than $12.00! This calendar would be lovely stand-alone gift, or a really nice add-on (and something to wrap up) to give along with a Cook Smarts subscription.

6: Momma Strong

I’ve talked about my love for Momma Strong here before. It’s an efficient, personalized workout, geared toward moms (but anyone can do it). There are varying degrees of difficulty, so even someone who is new to working out can feel stronger after doing one of the Momma Strong workouts. And, at only $2 a month, you can give your sober friend a great jump start on good health in the New Year.

Now, go forth and shop–knowing that, whether you’re a non-drinker or buying for a non-drinker, you’re giving the gift of health, clarity and love this Holiday season. 

cheers-jenny

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CGjenny

5 things I do every morning

I like to write the kind of posts that I enjoy reading. I always love to get a glimpse of a blogger’s ordinary life–call me a voyeur, but it’s what I like.

So, in the spirit of voyeurism (this should amount to some super-strange Google traffic) here are the 5 things that I do most every morning. 

5 things I do in the morning

 

  • Apple Cider Vinegar/Lemon Juice cocktail: I drink a full glass of water with about a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar mixed in, as well as a few squeezes of lemon juice, first thing when I walk in the kitchen, after waking up. I had a trainer at my old gym who first turned me onto apple cider vinegar years ago. She claimed that it’s a miracle, cure-all. Judging by her perpetually glowy skin and taut body, I went along with her advice. I’ve read that ACV lowers blood sugar levels, which wards off diabetes–among many other health benefits. I’m going on about 7 years of drinking ACV every day and it’s the first thing that I crave when I’ve been away from home and am settling back into a routine. As for the lemon juice, I’ve read a lot about the benefits of lemon juice–especially for those of us with Type A blood. So, just like the ACV, I figure that it can’t hurt. And it’s important to hydrate upon waking, so I feel like I’m killing 3 birds with one stone. (But I love birds, so I’d never kill one, of course)

lemon coffee

 

  • Coffee with coconut oil: After my ACV/lemon juice concoction, next up is my cup of coffee with a teaspoon of coconut oil in it. Again, another tidbit harvested from Dr. Pinterest, but I’ve read that coconut oil speeds up your metabolism and boosts your immunity. Plus, it tastes good. Bonus: my lips get a nice glossy-look, thanks to the coconut oil. 

IMG_2642

  • I make our bed. I have to make the bed for a number of reasons. If I don’t, our room looks that much messier. Also, I can’t stand to get into an unmade bed at night–sheets all wrinkled and tangled. (First world problems, fo sho) Besides, it’s rare that there’s not an animal snoozing on our bed at any given point in the day, so I like to keep the sheets clean and fur-free by making the bed first thing in the morning.

 

  • I empty the dishwasher. We run the dishwasher at night and my least-favorite morning chore is unloading the dishwasher in the morning but, if I don’t, our whole world falls apart. We don’t eat off of paper plates in our house, so we use–and thusly–dirty-up lots of plates, bowls and cups at each meal in this house. If we forget to set the dishwasher to come on before bed, then the next morning is a bust, so it’s important to me to stay on top of the Managing of the Dishwasher. 

IMG_2640

  • I walk the dog. Angie is a Weimaraner, which is a “sporting breed” (although, if you could hear her snoring and farting, while sleeping on the sofa with Judge Judy on the tv right now, you’d beg to differ) so she needs a good bout of exercise daily. I’ve found that, if I walk her at least 2 miles a day, she’s calmer for the rest of the day and doesn’t get into as much mischief when left alone. The walk is good for me too. During our daily dog walks is when I dream up the majority of these blog posts and get all of my good thinking done. 

On any given school day, all of these activities happen before 8am. Morning is my favorite. Mornings are way better now that I don’t drink. I don’t ever take mornings for granted anymore.

Tell us about your morning rituals.

cheers-jenny

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CGjenny

Friday Favorites

Up until recently, I’ve always belonged to a gym. I like the sense of community that comes from a gym as well as group exercise classes. I just feel better if someone more fit and toned than myself, tells me exactly what to do, how long to do it and then when to stop doing it. In my head, if I do exactly what they tell me to do, I might stand a chance of being as fit and toned as they are. Magical thinking for the win.

Friday Favorites

Before we begin, here’s a backstory: We lived in Houston for 14 years, prior to moving to Central Texas, where we live now. When we lived in Houston, I had several friends who joined this online exercise group called “Momma Strong,” run by a fellow mom, Courtney, who ran in concentric social circles to myself. At the time, I was active at my local YMCA, so I didn’t need to follow an exercise regime at home. Once we moved up here though, I found myself at least 30 minutes from the nearest YMCA. I wasn’t pleased with this YMCA and so I tried a Crossfit box, (30 minutes in the other direction) which wasn’t the right fit for me either (and will be a the subject of a future blog post, for sure).

So, here I was, lost and ready to exercise again, but not willing to drive 30 minutes one way to go to a gym, where I’d pay an exorbitant membership price only to be sorely disappointed, yet again. That’s when a friend from Houston reminded me about Momma Strong.

Image courtesy of www.mommastrong.com
Image courtesy of www.mommastrong.com

 

Momma Strong is an online workout program that is multifaceted, but aims to help women who’ve given birth (either recently or not-so-recently–such as myself) put their bodies back together. As Momma Strong founder, Courtney Wyckoff says, so many exercise programs promise to get you back into your “skinny jeans” but no one promises to put your body back together after childbirth.

Courtney is a Certified Personal Trainer as well as a Corrective Exercise Specialist who has worked with pre and post-natal women exclusively for the past 7 years. She offers pro-natal, Di-Recti, (healing diastasis recti) and core-strength programs, in addition to a HIIT (high intensity interval training) program. All of these programs are available via her website for $2 a month.

Yes, $2 a month.

That’s 8 quarters. I have 8 quarters currently clanking among the jeans in my dryer, right this very second. 

I like Courtney’s “Daily-15” program. It’s a 15 minute long HIIT workout that she posts every weekday. Another great thing about Momma Strong is that you don’t need any equipment. The only items that you need are a yoga mat, tennis shoes. the occasional rolled-up towel and sometimes a couple of soup cans. Everything can be done at home, in 15 minutes, with little to no forethought.

Image courtesy of www.mommastrong.com
Image courtesy of www.mommastrong.com

 

I never thought that I could workout at home. I always thought that I needed to go to a gym and be screamed at for an hour. Turns out? 15 minutes a day of, (what-feels-like) hanging out with Courtney, as she works out in front of her laundry room (which is very often full of dirty laundry–just like mine) is doing the trick for me–and for a fraction of the price of a traditional gym. Momma Strong has a program to fit any person (my husband does the Daily 15 with me sometimes and I’ve encouraged him to sign up for Courtney’s “Papastrong” program.) at any point in their life. Give it a whirl and see what you think.

How do you stay fit? Do you prefer to go to a gym or workout at home? Tell us about it…

cheers-jenny

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