Sunday, May 26, 2013

I'm Back!

Good Morning (although it is lunch time here at school)!!
  I have been the absent-minded blogger for far too long!  Sometimes, life just gets in the way of this blog.  As much as I love to blog and express my findings about health, wellness, life and exercise, I have MANY obligations at schools that need to take priority.  This was a tough pill to swallow at first, simply because I would much rather blog here than grade 100 6th grade papers; however this is the reality.

What I've been up to...
Boston Brain Tumor Ride:
 The last few weeks have been jam-packed with fundraising events for last weekend's Boston Brain Tumor Ride.  As many of you already know, I rode in the BBR for my friend and colleague Sarah, who had a brain tumor removed and underwent radiation last winter/spring.  Our team, the Riders Rohan, rode in the BBR last spring, and regrouped again this year to participate in this challenging and inspiring event.

Some of the 2013 Riders for Rohan! Note Tucker's Presence in this picture... Traffic on the Bourne Bridge forced me to bring him to the event.  Not ideal, but he did ok. 
Oh you know, just being a biker chick!

Sarah and I

  Last year we raised over $40,000, which was a tough sum to beat!  Although we utilized creative and fun fundraising opportunities this year, we fell short of our previous total by about 20k; however we did raise over $23,000!  Speaking of creative fundraising options, I recently organized a walk at our middle school to support this cause.  We had about 50 students participate, requiring a $5 donation to walk.  Many families were overly generous, donating as much as $50 to the National Brain Tumor Society!  The walk was a blast for the kids and teachers alike, and I will definitely do this again.
  The ride itself was much more enjoyable this year.  Last year I was injured for the New Bedford Half Marathon and ironically bike riding and swimming were the prescribed activities for my injury.  Since it was all I could do, I trained for the 50 mile ride on my fitness bike!  This was tough to say the least, and many times throughout the ride I wanted to stop.  I finished in just under 4 hrs (way too much time on a bike).  This year I rode 25 miles with a group of friends.  We took it slow, had a blast and chatted the entire way.  This was much more up my alley, seeing that bike ride in simply not my favorite.  My friend Stephanie was also there cheering us on.  Her Husband rode on our team and represented the two of them since she is pregnant.  It was GEAT to see both of them as well!
Coaching Track:
  I mentioned this is a few of my previous posts, but I'm coaching middle school track for the third year at my school.  The position is requiring more and more  each year, making it the pay dwidle a bit.  Teachers don't do these extra things just for the money, beacuse it never nets out to being worth it.  On the other hand, I love meeting new kids and seeing old students in a different light.  I love seeing team players and great sportsmanship.  Our last meet is tomorrow and I am embarrassed to say I'm relieved.  The meets let out quite late and it is tough to get home at 8pm!  It also has been a communication nightmare getting our METCO ( students who live in Boston and are bussed to my school) home via van or bus.
Cape house:
  I have also been spending some time at our cape cottage in preparation for this weekend.  We had to mow the lawn, do some laundry and purchase some staple food items. Hopefully we do not have a HUGE crowd because that always stresses me out big time! Don't get me wrong, I love seeing friends and family, but there are limits to how many humans fit in a 650 square foot cottage!  Our friends Ashley and Kelly are coming from NYC and I am pumped to see them.
Me, Ashley and Kelly Last summer on the Vineyard
 Kelly has been writing her thesis all spring  and has been a bit MIA, understandably.  I havent seen Ashley since our March trip to Vegas, so it will be good to reconnect with them.

Things to come...
  On the docket for next week is our 3 night 4 day camping trip with the kiddos to camp Bournedale in Plymouth, MA. This is one of my favorite weeks of teaching because it is so refreshing to spend time outside with children, and see students' skill sets that are far beyond the classroom.  I will also have the opportunity to spend time with kids that are not on my team of 90.  Very cool.

Memorial day 5K in OB:
  Each year Hospice of Martha's Vineyard puts on a memorial day 5K to benefit Hospice services on the island.  I have missed running in this for the past two years, and decided this is my year!  Mark, Ashley and I signed up.  I just hope the weather is run-able!

Great to be back!

Question for the day:  Does anyone have any "rockstar" plans for this weekend?

Monday, May 13, 2013

Mother's Day Preparation and Birthday Parties GALORE!

  Due to inclement weather, my middle school track meet was cancelled today (Friday).  I am sad for the kids, and I know the make-up will be difficult to schedule, but I really used the day to my advantage!
  As soon as the cancellation call  was made, I scooted out of school and headed to Target.  Target was featuring the mini iPad for $299, and I have the 5% back card.  My mom wanted a “device” to search the web, pinterest, and to upload her pictures to, so we decided on the iPad mini.  I purchased the mini machine in white, and splurged on a pink Velcro protective case.  Meanwhile, my brother was grabbing a wireless key board to make typing recipes and online shopping even easier.  This is a BIG Mother’s day gift, and we do not typically do gifts  this large for Mother’s Day, but we thought this year- What the heck!  While at Target I also bought a gift for my Cousin’s son, who’s birthday I missed while I was away in Jamaica. 
  We are planning on giving my mom the iPad early, because we know she will need our help setting it all up.  My brother is also coming home and will trade laundry loads for iPad lesson I’m sure!  We are grabbing breakfast with my mom at Sweet Caroline’s on Saturday around noon.  The place looks delicious, making me more and more eager to try it.
  The rain was intense while driving home, and I started to get pumped up for a treadmill workout, while watching Wednesday night’s Nashville episode.  I fell asleep far before that show was on, so I love to watch it on the computer while working out.  As soon as a I returned home, I prepared a quick dinner and headed to the dungeon (aka basement) to workout.  I felt good on the run, despite the extreme humidity and lack of basement excitement.  The episode was also great, and I can’t wait for next week!
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  Dinner consisted of tree chicken breasts, a half packet of low sodium Italian seasoning mix ,  2 tbs of butter and many green beans to surround the chicken.  This meal is easy, low in carbohydrates and Mark adores it!  It is a definite staple at our house!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Falling off the wagon....

 I am ashamed to say that I have fallen off the wagon a bit.... I am as guilty as the next girl when I say that:

  •  I was busy working late
  • I made bad food choices.
  •  I failed to exercise

I do not own the rights to this video.  It was found on
Thinking about this list of excuses angers me.  It also reminds me of that hilarious health insurance commercial from a few years ago about the couple who makes countless excuses to not work out, such as: I lost my hair elastic etc...(see above) Anyways, some changes need to be made.  When I say this I need to realistic in the fact that I by no means " let myself go", I more so hit a bump in the road and need to find smoother terrain in order to "feel" good.
  My plan is as follows:
Schedule more workouts mid-week and over the weekend:
  I currently schedule in my mid-week workouts to ensure I do them.  They happen on Tuesdays and Thursdays and one other "flex" day.  Since the weekends are getting increasingly busy with weddings, showers, graduations etc, I need to start doing the same for the weekend workouts.  I could start by evaluating the day and the commitments I have made, and then figure out where and when would be a good time to workout.  Easier said than done, I know; but it is essential to feeling good.
  My mid-week workout obstacle is currently track.  I coach middle school track Mondays, Wednesday and Tuesdays until 4pm and then I drive home.  I get home around 5pm most nights and am exhausted. I know many of you reading from corporate America are laughing at me, but yes teachers get very tired at night, and we are partially spoiled.  In my defense (not that I deserve it), I leave the house at 6:15 each morning and each lunch by 11:20 most days.  I think both of these impact my night time lethargy. This and the enormous amount of grading I need to do each night.  On the whole, none of this matters.  I need to figure this out in order to feel my best!

Plan meals ahead of time:
Snack plans...

  This portion of my plan is well underway.  Yesterday I went grocery shopping and bought and prepped many items for this week.  In fact, I believe our menu will look something like this:

  •   lean steak tipis already marinating in balsalmic low sodium marinade, served with veggies ( broccoli)
  • Store made white meat turkey burgers.  Mine is pepper and onion and Mark's has cheese and turkey bacon blended in.  YUM!  These will be served on Joseph's flax buns with homemade sweet potato fries. ( I won't eat the bun, but Mark loves the bun)
  • Fajitas with peppers ( red and green) and flax wraps
  • Bison burgers
  • Salmon in a honey ginger glaze
Tons of options, as you can see, so I have no excuses this week!

Food/ exercise  Journaling:
  I have mixed emotions on the food journals.  I find I get obsessed with them, so I typically start using them and then stop.  Beside the obsession, they do keep me honest; so I am back to writing down my foods along with my workouts.

Phew... feels good to plan this out.
Have a great week!

Question of the day:  How do you get yourself back on track?

Monday, May 6, 2013

Katie's Shower and eating more than you can stand...

Yesterday was Katie's shower and a GORGEOUS day to celebrate a GORGEOUS girl on the Plymouth waterfront!  The fellow bridesmaids and I gathered at Issac's in Plymouth around 9am to set up the function room with the centerpieces, cupcakes and cookies we created with Katie in mind.  We originally wanted to display our cupcakes on tiers, but the ones we purchased were a but flimsy, so we went to  plan B.
I love the way they look organized on this table.  I am not biased at all ( considering I did it) hah!

Centerpieces made by the very Crafty Jenn

Cookies look and taste great, Kaitlyn!
Katie arrived shortly after her guests in a stunning Lilly Pulitzer dress.  Since she knew about the shower, she had the opportunity to look, well good!  I always feel terrible for the brides that arrive to the shower in gym clothes and make-up form the night before.  Talk about horrible to feel a mess in front ( literally for hours) of everyone you know!  I am not a huge make-up gal anyways, but it is always nice to at least appear clean!
Katie and Andrew ( her fiance)

   After a few hellos, the food was ready on the buffet.  We had a brunch composed of fresh fruit and pastries, scrambled eggs, the most divine au gratin potatoes, eggs Benedict, breakfast meats, chicken and rice and pasta in a cream sauce.  The food was delicious and it is rather embarrassing how much I ate!  In fact, I went up to the buffet twice and had a puzzle piece cookie before the real meal!
Katie got some great gifts off her registry and some really creative homemade housewares. I felt like the paparazzi taking all these photos:)   

The De-Lux croc pot from Amanda.  Notice how it is as big as Tara!

Jenn is so great at crafts!

After finishing off both my plates and two mimosas, I feasted on a cupcake and felt like I could explode. Why, oh,  why do I do this to myself at parties?!?!
    After the gifts were all opened, we took a few last pics of the bridals party etc and started hauling all the gadgets to the car. The day was a big success on the whole, minus my gluttony of course!
Kristin, Danyelle, Amanda, Katie, Tara, Kaitlyn, Me and Jenn.  Note to self... I need to wear heals with these leggy beauties!

Literally hauling the gifts via  two wheeler to the cars.  She made out like a bandit!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Jeanie's Fab Five

Good Afternoon!
  Sorry I have been a mystery blogger for the last couple days.  This time of the year always proves to be a busy one, and this year is living up to history for sure!  I titled this post "Jeanie's Fab Five" to share some Fabulous events, milestones and other exciting things that have occurred over the few days I've been away.  Translation- I'm getting you in the know!

1)  Brain Tumor Benefit at the Turnpike:
 Last Saturday marked the Riders for Rohan's first (and hopefully annual) benefit event.  The night consisted of various raffles, a silent auction, some food, live music and inexpensive and thirst-quenching drinks (haha).  Our turn out was truly remarkable, and we raised a total of $7000 for the National Brain Tumor Society!!  I couldn't be more thrilled with the turn out, the large amount of money raised  and the teamwork that went into planning for this event!  I am also so thankful for my friends and family who donated items, attended, or assisted in making this night  so .... EPIC!!!
Lauren and I <3
Specifically my oldest friend, Lauren Goodman, got a babysitter and attended.  Lauren lost her grandmother to brain cancer and has always been very supportive of my efforts.  Although we don't see each other that often, when we do it is like we are still 10 years old again and diving for crabs down the cape!  We had a ball dancing and singing along to a few country cover songs, and she was even lucky enough to win a massage raffle item!
Lauren, Katie, Will and me in my blue shift dress !!!
I was also so  happy to see my best friend, Katie and her fiance Andrew, my brother Will, Mark and my old friend Tim.  Tim and I went to high school together, and participated in many events at our church.  Although we talk all the time using social media and text messaging, we have not  been face to face in years, and it was great to reconnect.
Tim and I
 Thanks so much for coming!
2) Brain Tumor Breakfast and the Start of Brain Tumor Awareness Month at School:
  Right after Sarah's surgery I had "Grey Matters" bracelets made to raise funds and show support among the school community.  The bracelets were a HUGE success, and an integral part of my fundraising last year.  We decided to get them made again this year, with a slightly different, neon green color scheme.
 Today, May 1st, was our first day of sales at all three school lunches. To begin Brain Tumor Awareness Month with a bang,  Sarah and I also hosted a breakfast  for the faculty this morning. A bang is an understatement,  because we raised a total of $214.75 between the bracelets and the breakfast... in one day!!  I am so overwhelmed by everyone's support and generosity.  Not to mention, the breakfast was delicious.  I made a french toast casserole that is by no means healthy, but it sure is good!  I will post the recipe soon.
3)  Middle School Track
  Last week, marked the start of a busy, but fun season:  middle school track.  The past three years I have coached the middle school track program.  It is great to see your students in a more physical light, but it definitely affects my own workout regime!  Since track began, my cardio has been dwindling;  but I determined to get back on track!  All in all, I love seeing  past students, and meeting new kids while at track.  It is also rewarding to see kids trying something new, and perhaps something they will stick with for life.
4)  Katie's Shower:
  The plans are well underway for Katie's shower this weekend.  I am so excited to see her in her gorgeous Lilly dress, and spend time with girls I have not seen in years.  I am also very excited that my blue shift dress (seen above in benefit photos), which was spilled on at the benefit, is now stainless!  I worked some Pinterest magic on the stain, and it is no longer.  SCORE!  I will not say much more about the shower, because Katie often reads my blog, but it will be very fun, creative and up her alley!
5)  Professional Status:
The last of the fab five items is VERY close to my heart.  Today, May 1st 2013, I received professional status at my school.  For those of you unfamiliar with public education, teachers work their first three years as non-professional teachers or "not tenured".  After three years of positive observations, work ethic and overall performance, you can achieve professional status.  Since I have been teaching for six years, I have come close to tenure before, while teaching at my past district;  but was laid off and forced to find a new placement before the three years and one day time period.  This means I had to start over. I am so thrilled to be considered a "professional" teacher, even though I know I am far from that.  I learn something new from my students and colleagues every day, and that is one perk of my job.  I want to publicly thanks all my fellow teacher friends for helping me in some way, shape, or form to get to this place.  I would not be the teacher I am today without all of you.  So, THANKS!!!!

As you can see this week has been BUSY.  OH I almost forgot,  I also wrote a guest post for a blog I love to read, Southern Belle Living Well.  The blogger, Avery, is a high school student with amazing writing skills, maturity and a fantastic head on her shoulders.  She too was having a busy week and was seeking guest posts.  I volunteered and my piece on "perfect pack-ables" will be on her blog soon, so stay tuned!
ps.  What's the "fab five" for you week thus far?