Boot Camp Day Two

Life List #45 – Get Healthy. 

So I got up again at 4:30 a.m. again today and went to boot camp.

Day two – check. Yay.

But I’m starting to believe that the challenge in completing this month will be less about the “getting up early” and more about “the intense workout”. Maybe it’s because it’s only five hours since I finished this morning’s 50-minute exercise and I’m having trouble walking.

And standing.

And exerting any kind of energy. It hurts to type this, for pete’s sake. And I don’t remember working out my fingertips specifically.

So I’m starting to worry a little. But I’m not giving up. I even purchased a new pair of running shoes yesterday since my previous pair were about four years old and made my arches hurt. (By the way – when did running shoes get so expensive?!) Anyways I was really happy to have them this morning when I was one of the first to fall out of the plank position and had to “run” a lap as punishment. Yes – I used quotes around “run”. Because I’m not sure you could call what I did a “run”. But I made it around a full lap. And I didn’t puke.

That was “fun”.

Day two of boot camp is also day one of summer vacation, by the way. So needless to say we haven’t had a chance to fall into our summer schedule/rhythm yet.  I’ve only had to put out three fights between my almost first-grader and almost fifth-grader.

Thankfully they don’t know that I can’t chase them yet. If they find out…I’m toast. Please don’t tell them.

How’s your summer going so far?! Moving any mountains? Making any progress towards your goals?

Day-by-day, my friends. Day-by-day.

(ouch. hand cramp)


Early Morning Boot Camp

Life List #45 – Get Healthy

There’s something about 4:30 a.m. that sounds so….early. I’m not a morning person and typically wait until the last possible second to get up – so I haven’t really seen 4:30 a.m. in many years. For the doubters out there, it does exist. I got up…on purpose …at 4:30 a.m. yesterday morning.

Wait. It gets better.

To EXERCISE. (it’s been awhile).

Ed didn’t think I could do it. So much so that he’s promised me a Vespa if I attend boot camp at 5 a.m. twice a week for a month.

Here’s how it went down.

We were at a pool party a couple days ago and my friend Patti and I had gotten a good deal on a month of unlimited boot camp attendance on Groupon. (I’m really, really out of shape and “get healthy” is on my life list. I haven’t felt good for about a year now and it’s time to do something about it. And also, I love getting a good deal on Groupon.)

So we were telling the group about our plans and Ed starting choking on his chicken.

Not because he doesn’t believe I can get in shape. I ran a marathon in 1999…it can be done! But because (and I quote) “there’s no way in hell you are going to get up that early.”

And so to sweeten the pot, one of my friends suggested I get a prize if I’m successful for a month. He said whatever I wanted. And folks, you know how bad I’ve wanted a Vespa. For like 10 years I’ve wanted a Vespa.

So I said….”how about a Vespa?”

And he said “sure, I’ll get you a Vespa.”

And I said, “you really, really don’t think I can do this, do you? (because we really, really don’t have money for a Vespa).

And he said, “no.”

And so it was done.

5 a.m. boot camp. i was there. and I sweated. and sweared.

I really want that Vespa, ya’ll.


Family Summer Bucket List Brainstorm

We got the idea from The Happy Family Movement and started throwing ideas out there for our own 2012 summer family bucket list today…things we want to do together as a family this summer. Here they are (in no particular order):

1.go to Kemah Boardwalk

2. go to Galveston and spend the night. Visit 3, 4 and 5.

3. the beach

4.Pleasure Pier amusement park

5. Moody Gardens

6. go camping

7. go to the pool

8. go ice skating

9. Stay the night at the Galleria Visit 10 and 11.

10. the lego store

11. the Cheesecake Factory

12. feed the ducks

13. go to the zoo

14. fly a kite

15. go on a picnic

16. go to the new American Girl doll store in the mall when it opens

17. go to the drive-in theatre

18. go fishing

19. go to Schlitterbahn

20. go to florida

21. go to SeaWorld in San Antonio

22. go to Aquatica in San Antonio

23. see a show on the lawn at the Miller Outdoor Theatre

24. visit the observatory to see the stars

25. paint

26. build something with clay

27. learn to sew

We’ll be adding more as we think of them. What’s on your list?


Aerus Lux Guardian Air Purifier Review and Discount!

Life List #52 – Get my allergies under control

Ahhh, so cute, right? Not to me! I'm off the charts, highly allergic to this guy! (photo courtesy of flickr: admiller)

For more than 20 years, I’ve suffered from symptoms related to severe allergies. I’m pretty much allergic to everything out there: ragweed, oak, cats and dust….which makes the spring and fall months in Houston almost unbearable.

For a year now I’ve been getting weekly allergy shots and they’ve been helping…but I still have problems. What I didn’t realize until recently was how poor the air quality in my house was and what a difference it would make to get it corrected.

I was given the opportunity to “test drive” an Aerus Guardian Air Purifier last week for a couple of days. Before the air purifier was turned on, we measured  the amount of small and large particles (dust, dander, pollen, etc.) in the room. It was off the charts high.

So bad, I don’t even want to tell you the exact numbers.

air quality measurement tool that shows big and small particles in the air. See the number on the left? That's not good, folks.

What I didn’t realize is that energy-efficient homes actually trap pollutants. So many of the measures I’ve taken to make my home run efficiently is actually keeping that stuff circulating throughout the air.

After just about 15 minutes, the air quality in my room had improved DRASTICALLY (the air measured coming directly out of the purifier measured at 0).

What was interesting was that after walking across the room or vacuuming, then sitting down for a minute, I watched the quality monitor show the amount of particles in the air rise and then settle back down as the purifier cleaned it out. It was fascinating to literally watch the numbers go down as the air was purified by the machine.

Air quality measurement tool readings when held up to the air coming out of the purifier. BIG difference! Clean air!

Some of the facts about the Guardian Air and my experience:

1. It has 4 Stages of Filtration: Ion generator, UV light with titanium dioxide, carbon and Waterproof HEPA filtration which filters and purifies without adding anything to the air.

Inside air purifier machine

2. The filter only needs to be replaced once a year. (After I used it for several days I could “see” the filter clogged with what was in my air – but you just vacuum it out and you’re good to go.)

3. It purifies 2,000 square-feet , turning the air seven times in one hour (thereby working MUCH harder than I do!!!) on the high setting (which wasn’t very loud….the unit actually served as white noise that helped me drift off to sleep at night!)

While I haven’t been suffering from upper respiratory issues like a stuffed up nose, post nasal drip, cough, etc. within the last couple of weeks so I couldn’t judge whether the purifier would make an instant difference with alleviating these, my friend who has a son with severe asthma told me this purifier has been a life changer for them. He no longer coughs all night or needs ANY of the medications that he previously took to stay symptom-free.

4. It’s Energy Star Certified (requires no more power to run than an average light bulb – (I kept this thing on 24/7 for several days in a row!)

5. Removes odors from the air. Normally when I vacuum I smell my dog (I suppose from kicking up stuff into the air from the carpet.) When I vacuumed in my room with the air purifier going…no smell!!!

6. I have sleep apnea and use a CPAP machine. It dawned on me while I was using the purifier that the air the CPAP is forcing into my lungs and opening my airway is the quality it of whatever air is currently circulating in my room. Surely the cleaner this air is the better it will be for me and my allergies?!! D’uh – right?!

The maker of this purifier has been around since 1924 and the Lux Guardian Air purifier has been recognized by the FDA as a Class II Medical Device. As such, it’s often recommended by doctors and many of their customers have been successful in getting the cost covered by insurance. But even for those that don’t, I hear that SOME people have been able to get reimbursed by their medical flex account and many more people use the medical device status as a tax break. filters and purifies without adding anything to the air

How About a Deal?

Make no mistake about it, these machines are an investment…but because I’m pretty impressed, I wanted to know how I could score one for myself AND my Still Living The Dream readers at a discount. After all,  it’s pretty hard to live your dream when you can’t breathe! (And mama likes to save money!)

Great news! If you call 713-898-4245 or email BEFORE May 31, 2012, and mention that you heard about it from me – you can save 25 percent off the price of the purifier AND they’ll pay for the sales tax!!!

Starting June 1, 2012, you can get 20 percent off the purifier…still not too shabby!

You can learn more about the company and purifiers here, but in order to get your discount, you have to contact the number or email above!


How do you handle living the dream with allergies? Do you use an air purifier?

Disclaimer: I was loaned a Lux Guardian Air Purifier to use for several days at no cost for review purposes. I cried a little when it left…but I plan on getting one for myself soon!


(Soon to be) Living The Dream at The Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island!

I’m beyond excited! It looks like I’ll be crossing number 22 off my life list this fall –  stay at The Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, Michigan. The Grand Hotel has been around since 1887 and was where the movie, Somewhere In Time, was filmed. I’ve wanted to visit the hotel and the island since I was a little girl and I’m thrilled that I will be Living The Dream there soon. Just listen to this….

The Grand Hotel…A destination with all the charm of a third-generation, family-owned resort. A national historic landmark that’s been visited by U.S. presidents, world-renowned entertainers, and countless families for well over a century. Built in 1887. On Mackinac, an island without cars where horses and bicycles are the favored modes of transportation….

Of course I’ll be sharing my experiences with you here, on Still Living The Dream…so you can join me on the adventure. Does this sound like a little piece of heaven, or what?!  Have you been to The Grand Hotel? Tell me about it! What should I be sure to do on the island?