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This is where the lift in the water scene happened. No water any more.

This is where the lift in the water scene happened. No water any more.

Well, I haven’t posted here in a long time. But last weekend, due to the gracious generosity of The Fresh 20, I was able to go to MixedCon. The conference you will never forget – or at least that is what they say. This was a food bloggers conference, organized by Susan and Paula. There were people there from all over the country – even some from Canada.  I left work a little early on Friday, jumped in the car, and off to Mountain Lake Resort. I arrived just as the night was winding down. Was able to try some mac and cheese from the winning recipe, but I missed the cookie tasting. The pasta was supplied by Dreamfieds. It is a “low carb” pasta which was yummy. And the reps from the company were nice too. I was able to get checked in and then off to bed, there was a long day ahead on Saturday.

Mountain Lake Resort is the site of the filming of Dirty Dancing, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary. So many of you may recognize these sites.

Here is the lake – yep it is dried up. Has something to do with the springs in the area. 

And the main lodge, where I stayed, and others did. And where all the conference activities were help. There is still the sign that says “Kellerman’s” – the name of the place in the movie.

Here are some other shots of the grounds.

This is where Baby and her family stayed in the movie.

This is where the lift in the water scene happened. No water any more.

Waterless lake.

Recognize these signs?

We learned about how to take great food photos, how to style food, and how to make great videos. The speakers were great.

The best 2 parts of the day were cookie decorating with Marian. She showed us how to decorate with butter cream and royal icing. I am not sure I will ever take the time to do this for a lot of cookies, but I thought it was a lot of fun. Here are the finished results.

And the best was cake decorating with Duff.

Pointing out where to find the supplies.

We worked in pairs, and Jess was mine. We met a breakfast and were in all the sessions together. Cake decorating was the last – and it was fun. The hardest part was figuring out what to do.

The blank slate.

We decided to make it a nautical theme. We spray painted the cake, and played with some fondant. It was fun. Our finished product.

Here are some of the other cakes decorated by participants. They were  a bit more creative than me.

After all the learning and decorating, and a little bit of sustenance, there was a party with a live band to end the festivities. I was the lucky winner of a Boos butcher block cutting board and a KitchenAid mixer. One for being at the conference, the other was a raffle sponsored by OXO to raise money for childhood cancer. There were so many great sponsors and people there.

I have to say, I enjoyed everyone I met. And the weekend away from work. I hope that I can keep up the blogging motivation that I have after the conference.

And my abstract photo of the weekend.

new sneaks!

Brooks Ghost 4

new sneaks!

New sneakers! Brooks Ghost 4

I’m not doing so great either. but with new shoes, i’m hoping I have a new attitude.

Here are my new blog rules for myself –

1) no more complaining about not enough time. if we want to do this – or anything that we decide to tackle – we can’t complain about not finding time. let’s focus on how we make the time and take little steps. If once a week is all you can do for now, then that’s better than nothing.

2) the blog needs some focus. so, lets use it to set mini-goals and then report on them.

For me – first up – starting a running program. The long-term goal might be the half marathon, eventually, but we need to focus right now on getting started.

Step 1: buy new shoes.

I went to Road Runner Sports yesterday afternoon and was fit by the ShoeDog. I hope that the shoes are great. They look nice at least and they have a okay review. What do you think?

Step 2: start on the treadmill.

This is the goal for tomorrow at least. With snow being forecast for tomorrow (yes. snow in October!!) I think my first workout will be on the treadmill.

Step 3: report back here tomorrow.  Ok – look forward to hear more from me tomorrow.

Setting mini-goals – it is at least a start.

Well, this blog thing is not starting out with a bang. At one post a week, I am not sure this will achieve its purpose of keeping me on track. One of my challenges is my work schedule. How to find the time and energy to write this. As well as the time and energy to make the changes that I need to be healthy. And I think I am my own worse enemy, convincing myself that I don’t have time, when really it is I don’t make the time. So here I am, not really making this a cheery blog, but complaining. How can I really make it better?

Well, I haven’t been too great at the blogging thing either. I thought all weekend about posting. took lots of pictures and just didn’t get to it. the photos are still sitting in the camera. This has been one of my struggles – finding – or I should say making – time to do the things I want to do. By the time I get home from work, get the boys to bed, I’m so tired that I either fall asleep or just sit on the couch not wanting to do much of anything.

If I was there, I’d run or walk with you. Maybe one day we’ll live close enough to exercise together.

Chin up – we’ll figure out how to get balance together. I know I find that keeping a schedule and sticking to it can help. And lots of lists. Setting small goals can also help. Makes it seem more manageable.

Last week was a crazy one. I worked the weekend before last, and it really meant two long work weeks all strung together. I was tired, irritable and no fun to be around. That is one of the things that makes it tough for me to find balance, when I can hardly find time for sleep.

This past weekend, I went to sleep at 9:30 on Friday night and had 10 hours of sleep. Boy did I feel like a new person. It amazing how catching up on sleep can make such a difference. And may explain my cryptic post from Thursday.

I did not follow through very well on my taking lunch to work challenge last week. And this week will not be much better with my empty refrigerator. The other thing I have done in my work induced stupor last week is to schedule 2 different things at the same time tomorrow night. And I can’t decide which to cancel. But I will see if I can move either one of them, and then I have to make a decision.

I am wishing I had someone who I could go walking with in the mornings. Problem is, I have to be at work too early. So maybe I just need to get some safety paraphernalia and go on my own. I really wish I liked to run, cause it is a great work out and burns lots of calories.

Alright, enough rambling now. I need to start taking more photos so these posts aren’t all words. In the mean time, I am off to bed.

Well, the first week of this blogging thing has not gone as well as I had hoped. I have worked too much, not eaten well, and definitely not had enough sleep. Not a great way to start my journey, or actually continue my journey to balance. That is a big challenge in the craziness of my work world. I am not sure how my colleagues do it. Supportive families I guess. I do have this weekend off. I plan to put together a schedule that can help me achieve that.

More soon. sorry not a long or informative post.


How is it that after over 6 years I am here starting a blog with Ashley? We have been talking about doing this for a while, and here goes. We have both had knit blogs. But neither of us find much time for knitting. But we both have felt we need some motivation for helping to achieve a healthy balance in life. So what better way to keep you accountable than to publish it so the world can see it.

So new beginnings. I don’t really have any official new beginnings in my life this fall. So I guess I need to make some for myself. I think I will start by making a pledge to myself to take my lunch with me. It is always a challenge, especially when I am at work for 24 hours or more. That will be my healthy challenge for the week. And since I don’t really have any pictures, I will leave you with this one.

I love fall.  It reminds me of new beginnings – and this fall has been full of new beginnings.

Boy#1 started kindergarten.


And Boy#2 is about to start in his new toddler room at daycare – no more babies! wow!

And I’ve started down this new path – to fitness, to health, and to happiness. I’m looking forward to working together on making this journey as easy as possible. Or at least letting us have some fun along the way!