A to Z Blogging Challenge.

I mentioned last week I had started a new weight management program.  Last Monday we were told not to eat anything from noon until class at 7:30 p.m.  As soon as I heard the assignment my anxiety went up.  The thought of not being allowed to eat for 8 hours made me want to eat everything we had in our house.  What the heck?  Why am I so afraid of being hungry?  I already feel like I am hungry 24/7 now because of some metabolic issues.  Logically I know it is ridiculous!  I can eat if I want.  If I don’t have food, I have money and a car and can drive to the store.  There is absolutely NO reason I should fear not being able to get food.  I will not starve.  Hopefully knowledge will be power and I’ll be able to kick this silly fear to the curb.


The other breakthrough came with the only able to eat at the table rule.  Ugh!  I hate eating at the table.  Silly but I feel like sitting at the table is sitting down to converse with my enemy, food.  Logically food isn’t the reason I’m fat.  My own emotional issues and bad habits are but it is easier to blame food.  I obviously need to eat at the table more.  It is important for my daughter, who does sit at the table to eat while I clean, to share in a family eating schedule.

Do you have an irrational fear?  What is it?

It wouldn’t be fair to leave F and not talk about Fitbloggin’ 2014.  I will be attending Fitbloggin’ 2014 in Savannah in June.  It is a conference for bloggers interested in fitness, wellness, good food and a healthy lifestyle.  Many of my friends from Fitcation are going to be here and I’m thrilled to enjoy their company again.  I plan to be informed, inspired and infused with excitement by the end.

Essential Oils

A to Z Blogging Challenge.  Today’s letter is E.


I have experimented in essential oils for years now.  I would still consider myself a novice.  Recently I had the opportunity to join a brand new company.  Since I already use the oils I thought what the heck.  I signed up and got my box of oils and this awesome looking diffuser.  Everyone in my house was sick when I received my kit.  I figured it was the perfect time to try out the new oils.


The diffuser has a tank you fill with water and then you put in about 4-6 drops of the oil.  Plug it in and let the magic happen.  I started with an Oxyzen blend which was designed to help improve your respiratory health.  I could tell there was a tingling in my nose and I felt like I could breathe better.

A few nights later I was stressed out when I got home and needed to relax.  I put in a few drops of our anti-stress blend, Relaxation.  Within minutes I was so relaxed I thought I was going to fall asleep in the middle of dinner.  Wow!

Now, I am hooked.  I’m studying away to learn how to use all the oils.  There is so much to learn.  What oils can and can’t be used with children.  How can the oils be oils?  What can be made with the oils?  This week I’m going to experiment with making bath salts and sugar scrubs.  I love that feeling you have when you find a topic of interest and you want to devour all the information you can find.

Have you tried essential oils?  Are you an expert at EOs or novice like me?

Daddy and Death

A to Z blogging challenge.  Today’s letter is D.

Yesterday was my Daddy’s birthday.  I’ve celebrated it more times than he ever got to celebrate.  He died when I was 2 and he was only 34.  For the most part, I have handled being young pretty well.  However, having a daughter has changed me.  She is the age I was the last time my Daddy had a birthday.  It breaks my heart.  I never fully understood from the point of view of a parent until now.  The thought of dying and leaving my toddler breaks me in two.  I am mourning my parents all over again.Daddy

However, I got to spend a wonderful evening with some beautiful friends and it helped lift my spirit. I needed it more than I realized. It is easy to get bogged down in all the heavy feelings and it is important to feel them but it is time for me to pull myself back up and get back to living. Tonight reminded me how important it is to live in the moment and enjoy our personal connections to other people right now. I’m not done mourning and I still have much anger but every day gets a little better. Tonight I came home to a delighted Baby Bug. We hugged, kissed, cuddled and sang. I pray we get to do enjoy many more nights of hugs, kisses, cuddles and singing.

A Cacophony of Clapping for Coffee

A to Z blogging challenge.  Today’s letter is C.

In high school, I lived with my grandparents.  They got up every morning around 5:30 cleaned the house and then sat to drink some coffee while reading the morning paper.  As a freshman my  cousin and I decided to try coffee by putting chocolate chip ice cream in it.  I still maintain it was one of the best cups of coffee I ever had.  By my senior year of high school I would wake up in the morning, come out to a cup of coffee and sit with my grandma.  She would’ve cut out of the paper all the horrible stories about crime in the city I planned to attend college for me to read.  She was having a little difficulty about me leaving home and this was the only thing she did to point out the dangers I could face.  I found it amusing.  She was a wonderful woman.

When I sit down to a lovely cup of coffee in the morning I am sitting down with my grandma.  I feel her presence.  I feel her warm hug and her encouraging words.  For a brief moment of the day, the pain of missing her is gone and I feel warm and fuzzy inside.


 Me with my grandparents.

My grandma supported me in all I did.  She loved watching me go fearlessly into life.   I’ve lost that fearlessness over the years.  I’m working hard to get it back.  A few weeks ago I made myself a new coffee mug.

coffee mug

Always do what you are afraid to do.  Ralph Waldo Emerson 


B words

A to Z blogging challenge and today’s letter is B.

I thought about all kinds of B options but none of them felt right.  Instead I ended up searching for B words and what they meant.  Here are a few of my favorite B words.

Bumpkin – Since I’m a country gal I’ve often been called and considered myself a county bumpkin.  I never knew where the word originated.  The first recorded appearance of the word in 1570 is glossed by the Latin word Batavus, “Dutchman.”  The suggestion is that bumpkin may come from either the Middle Dutch word bommekijn, “little barrel,” or the Flemish word boomken, “shrub.” The connection would be between a squat object and the short rotund figure of the Dutchman in the popular imagination. Any bumpkin would surely prefer this etymology to the suggestion that bumpkin is a derivative of bum, “the rear end.”  I am in fact a short rotund person and therefore can be considered a bumpkin.

Bollocks – Technically bollocks means testicles a derived spelling of bollix which was formed from Old English beallucas “testicles, ” from Proto-Germanic *ball-, from PIE * bhel “To inflate, swell.”   In British slang it is used to describe an ejaculation of words as “nonsense.” The use has been recorded in use since 1919.

Bunny – In the 1680s it showed up as possibly a diminutive of Scottish dialectal bun, pet name for rabbit, previously (1580s) for squirrel, and was a term of endearment for a young attractive woman or child as far back as 1600.  With my love of all things Scottish, I’m delighted this word has Scottish roots.

I asked my friends to give me some words which started with B when I was looking for ideas.  I still love them despite the uninspiring words.  Perhaps next time they will come up with a gem. My favorite B word is Biblioteca, the Spanish word for library.  I love how it rolls off my tongue.  I’m disappointed in my B post.  I’ll work harder on my C.  Do you have a favorite B word?

Organic Apples: Which One is Awesome Sauce?

A to Z April Blogging Challenge!  Today’s letter is A.

We love apples in our house!  As a kid I got the joy of walking through a Washington State Red Delicious grove and buying fresh apples straight from the trees.  Food is always best the closer you are to where it grew.  Don’t you think?  I was a devout Red Delicious fan for many years.  One time there were no Red Delicious at the store and I was forced to step outside my apple comfort zone.  I discovered I enjoyed several varieties of apples.  The apple is on the Environmental Working Group’s dirty dozen conventional fruits and vegetables with the highest amount of pesticides found in them.   I do believe the benefits of eating fruits and vegetables with or without pesticides is better than not eating any fruits and vegetables, however, I’m working hard on providing the best possible foods I can to my daughter.  I have chosen to start by working my way down the Dirty Dozen list and replace my favorites with organic options.  This has led me on a quest to decide once and for all which apple is my favorite apple.


Did you know apples are a part of the rose family?   So are pears, peaches, plums and cherries!

I went to the local store and bought up one apple of all the kinds they currently have on sale.  There were 4 different varieties.  Then I got to munching.

From L to R: Organic Red Delicious, Organic Fuji, Organic Granny Smith and Organic Gala.

applesMy thoughts:

Red Delicious – I love this simple apple.  A soft bite of sweet which melts in your mouth.  Great for toddlers since it is a softer bite and for hot summer days when you need a juicy sweet refreshment.  Yep.  Still love this apple.  It was Baby Bug’s favorite for the taste test.  My mini me!

Fuji – The one to win the place for my new favorite.  It is a hardier bite than the Red Delicious.  It is as sweet but brings a little tangy to the party.  The second bite provided even more flavor.  Overall it simply had more substance per bite and I would feel more fulfilled and entertained gastronomically at the end of a Fuji.

Granny Smith – Tart Tart Baby!  A great apple for cooking with since it is usually cooked with sugar which helps tame the tartness.

Gala – This apple fell between the Fuji and Granny Smith in tartness.  I think it would be a great cooking apple if you can’t get Granny Smith.  It is too tart for more me to enjoy alone but it is a hardier bite than the Red Delicious.


I learned the best way to preserve your apples longer is to pile them in a bowl and cover them with a damp paper towel or regular damp towel in the crisper drawer if possible.   Apples stay fresh longer if they are kept cool.  I had no idea and have been keeping them on my counter for years.  We eat them so fast probably doesn’t even matter for us.

Don’t worry!  All those apples didn’t go to waste.  I looked around at a few recipes and came up with my own version of a mixed apple crumble.  The fun aspect of this recipe is depending on what apples you use it will come out a little different every time.  In the past I have only used a hardier apple like the Green Apple for apple pie or apple crisp.  I was pleasantly surprised how yummy this crumble turned out.  There were some pears winking at me when I bought my apples and I couldn’t resist picking some up to add in the mix.  I’m crazy like that.

Junebug’s Mixed Apple and Pear Crumble

4-6 Apples (depending on size) Peeled, cored and cut in chunks.

2 Ripe Pears Peeled, cored and cut in chunks.

3 Tablespoons of Lemon Juice

2 Tablespoons of Sugar

1 teaspoon of Nutmeg

1 teaspoon of Cinnamon

2 Tablespoons of Butter

2 Tablespoons of Cornstarch


2 1/2 Cups of Crushed Graham Crackers

1/2 Cup of Butter

1/2 Cup of Sugar

4 oz. of Pecans


1.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Butter a 9 X 13 glass pan.

2.  Toss the chunks of apple and pear with the lemon juice, sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, butter and cornstarch.   Pour mixture into the dish.

3.  Combine graham crackers, butter, pecans and sugar and spoon over the apple pear mixture.

4.  Bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until the topping is golden brown and the fruit is bubbly.

5.  Can be served warm or cool.  Delish with ice cream or whipped cream.

I didn’t get a picture of the finish product because my husband ate it too fast.  I’ll have to make another.


I’m participating in A to Z challenge for April. Today is Y.

Putting YOU into your workout.  Often I will find myself out there on the road.  Pushing to do one more mile.  When I will start to dig deep inside myself.  I start to talk to myself as if I’m standing on the outside.  Like I am every voice I’ve ever heard talk to me.  I say:  You are the only one who can finish another mile.  You are the only one who can make the change.  You are the one who has failed yourself.  You are the only one you hurt when you give up.  You can do this.  You are stronger than you think.  Yada yada yada…  Then I cry.  Yep.  I cry.  Sometimes the tears choke me and steal my breath as I heave past the old me.  There you are I think.  Moving past another obstacle you have allowed to steal life from you.

People can say they exercise for many reasons.  Most are afraid to say they do it for themselves.  While it is true I run partly for my daughter so she can have a mother for as long as possible but I do it for me.  My body.  My mind.  My longevity.  When I look in a mirror, I have to say, “This is for you!”

Mamavation Monday Results

263.8 Up 2.2 didn’t expect a gain. :-(

Goals for the week:

1.  Continue training and finish my first 10K on Saturday.  Race 6 in my #13in2013 challenge.

2.  Find 3 ways to thank people in my support system

“ This post is sponsored by Pete Cohen and Mamavation – a community dedicated to obesity prevention &weight loss for women and I’m writing this to be entered into a giveaway ”

NOTE:  I am looking for guest posters for next month while I am on vacation.  Please contact me through my Contact Me under About Junebug in my header.


I’m participating in A to Z challenge for April. Today is U.

We have been spending a ton of time at the beach lately and I have become obsessed with finding a good umbrella shade option.  Full disclosure:  All the umbrella pictures are linked to Amazon.  I do  have an Amazon affiliate link and if you buy anything after linking to Amazon through me I do receive a percentage of what you buy.  I don’t know who bought what so I can’t link it to you specifically.  All funds raised with my Amazon affiliate link go into the fund for our second adoption.

We have an umbrella like this one only it went down in the sand and wasn’t a stand but last year it blew out and almost took out 4 nearby sunbathers.  Not a big fan of it for our windy area.

I have seen several of these lately but I worry about how well they stay down in the wind.  My friend had one at the beach this morning and my daughter loved it!!!  It is on my short list.

I briefly considered just getting this umbrella chair but so far I spend most my time chasing down my water baby and most likely would not get to use it much.

I couldn’t help but notice this unusual umbrella for your pet.  LOL

Here is a great find of an autographed photo of Robin Williams with some beach umbrellas.   Not sure why.

I even found umbrella straws for my drinks! 

I could go with this amazing hat.

Which is your favorite option?  Do you like an umbrella at the beach?  


I’m participating in A to Z challenge for April. Today is S.

A week ago the country was taken by surprise with the Boston Marathon Bombing.  As a wanna-be runner, it impacted me deeper than I would have guessed.  Runners are a close-knit community.  I run with my friends.  I run in a fantastic run club.  I have connecting with other runners via social media.  We all know the sacrifices and dedication needed so we support each other with encouraging words, tips and motivation.

The following day, like many runners across the world, I gathered with my run club for a run to honor the victims of the bombing.  My club is a christian club so we start every workout with a prayer.  Our leader made a point which made me pause to think deep.  He said many of wounded were not the runners but the crowd.  The people there to support us.  I knew this from the news but it hadn’t sunk in what it meant.  I have done 5 races this year and every single one of them have been lined with people clapping, cheering, waving signs and supporting us.  I don’t know most the people but they are cheering for me anyway.  Two days before the bombing I ran a race.  I remember as I came into the last quarter mile thinking “I can’t walk now.  People(I don’t even know!) will see me.  I will disappoint them.”  I ran across the line with my traditional Jazz Hands waving to the crowd as they clapped and shouted for me.  Jazz hands + pink tutu with bras hanging off of it = crowd pleaser.  I felt warm and fuzzy, not just because I ran/walked 3.2 miles, but because strangers made me feel good about it.

Boston Unity Run

Suddenly realizing the crowd of supporters were the largest numbers making the ultimate sacrifice of limbs and life in Boston, broke me down.  Seeing the picture of the bomber right behind the family which lost their son, their daughter lost her leg and the mom is still critical tears me up.  These were innocent moms, dads, daughters, sons, wives, husbands, sisters, brothers, cousins, aunts, uncles, friends and neighbors there giving up freely their time to support another person’s goal to run in the Boston Marathon.  They knew a person doesn’t just wake up and say I’m going to go run 26.2 miles.  They were compelled to clap and cheer for loved ones, friends and strangers because they recognized a marathon is a grand achievement.   Most importantly they knew a physical challenge is often an even bigger mental challenge.  I’m only up to a 5K but I have had huge World War battles in my head.  Occasionally I will break through a mental block and spend my run crying.  In an odd way  by wearing myself down completely physically, I am able to find cracks in my interior wall built during years of pain to protect myself but which now hold me prisoner.   When I am at my weakest in mile 3 people are lined up along the street clapping and shouting encouragement to me a total stranger.  I see them as these extremely kind, supportive and generous members of my community.

I do not believe we can survive in this world without support.  My running times would be worse if my friends and strangers weren’t cheering for me and supporting me.  I couldn’t raise my daughter as well if I didn’t have the support of my friends and family.  I wouldn’t be who I am today without people supporting me along the way.  The bombers struck at the heart of the runner’s support system.  I pray for the victims of this horrible crime.  They are going to need people supporting them now.  They shouldn’t grieve alone.  They can’t overcome the challenge to learn to walk with artificial legs without support.  They can’t beat the mental barriers this trauma has left without support.  I wish we could all line up and clap for the survivors  letting them know we support them and understand their sacrifice, hard work and dedication because for many of them they are at the beginning of a very different marathon – the marathon of recovery both physically and mentally.

Mamavation Monday Results

261.6 down .20 (almost a whole quarter of a pound!) LOL

At least I’m going in the right direction!  This turtle will win the race.

Goals for the week:

1. Train for my 10k in two weeks.  Get in a long run of 5 miles.

2.  Find 3 ways to thank people in my support system.

NOTE:  I am looking for guest posters for next month while I am on vacation.  Please contact me through my Contact Me under About Junebug in my header.

“ This post is sponsored by Doctor G and hosted by Mamavation – a community dedicated to obesity prevention & weight loss for women and I’m writing this to be entered into a giveaway 

Quiet and Rest

I’m participating in A to Z challenge for April. I’m behind so I am combining Q and R.

Quiet – Making little or no noise.  Absence of noise or bustle; silence; calm.  Make or become silent, calm or still.

Is it ever really quiet?  I can sit on my sofa and think it is quiet because no one else is home and the TV is off but if I concentrate I can hear the hum of the fridge, the whirl of the computer modem, the ticking of the ceiling fan chain against the light, the breathing of my dog and the hum of my DVR.  When our electricity goes out, it is eerily quieter without all the background white noise I am used to hearing.

Speaking of quiet…it makes me want to rest.  It has been a long week.  My daughter is taking 6 breathing treatments a day.  The 2 in morning and night take almost an hour each time.  As you can imagine suddenly losing 3 hours of time in your day is making quite an impact on my ability to be productive.  Respiratory illnesses in toddlers are no fun for anyone.  We should find out Tuesday what the issue is and how we can work towards wellness.   I’m going to rest now.  Hopefully I can get a start on next week’s posts and not fall apart again.

NOTE:  I am looking for guest posters for next month while I am on vacation.  Please contact me through my Contact Me under About Junebug in my header.