Super Saturday

Good morning!  Welcome to the “Saturday Before Christmas!”

Apparently, today is being dubbed “Super Saturday” because the stores are supposed to be crazy.  I heard on the news that it is expected to be bigger than both Black Friday and Cyber Monday.  That just seems crazy but I guess everyone will be out trying to get their last minute gifts bought and everything wrapped up for next week.  Me?  I still have tons of time!  I mean, I have tomorrow, Monday night and Tuesday night…and, maybe, even Wednesday morning.  I can totally get everything finished before then!  Procrastination at its best.

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Speaking of procrastination, my dad is coming up today and we are going to get our Christmas trees.  My parents and I both get real trees and always leave them up until at least January 6th, when we celebrate the Epiphany, so we usually get them pretty late in the season.  My mom has to work today so she is trusting my dad to pick out the perfect one.  They’ve been together for almost 30 years so, by now, I’m pretty sure he knows what she wants.  At least, let’s hope.  I’m always so picky when it comes to picking out a tree so let’s hope that I can find one I like…even though it’s less than a week before Christmas.  It’s fine.

Yesterday afternoon, I had my post-op appointment from my surgery on Wednesday.  My surgeon said everything went great and everything looks good! I have a follow-up eye appointment in four weeks and…I can, officially, wear eye makeup again in nine days!!  I cannot wait…it was the hardest part of the process, I swear.

After the hubs and I left my appointment, we grabbed some lunch and headed home.  He wanted to sleep before he had to leave for work (we hate night shift) and I had a date with my mom to get some Christmas crafting done!  I had plans to etch glasses for everyone in our office and that’s exactly what we did!  I etched mugs as favors for our wedding last year so I had the etching process down!  However, last night, I found I was a little bit rusty.  After I got into a rhythm, though, I got all of them done in about an hour!  I think they turned out great, too!

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#1.  We have a weird mustache obsession/inside joke our office, hence, the mustaches.
#2.  I am pretty positive my coworkers don’t know about my blog so they won’t see them here!

Okay!  So, I’m off to do lots of holiday stuff!  I might even venture out to the mall even though I’m anticipating craziness!  We have our annual holiday party tonight at our neighbor’s and I can’t wait!  It’s not really an ‘ugly sweater party’ but I think my hubs might be planning on wearing one.  Sometimes, I have no control over what he does and I feel like tonight will be one of those times.

Happy Saturday!
Kelly

Something to share:  Christmas tree: real or artificial?  Have you finished your holiday shopping?

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All Things Christmas

Hi friends!  TGIF!

I’m happy to report that everything went well with my surgery on Wednesday and the results are nothing short of amazing!  I cannot believe how clear and bright everything has become!  I have had glasses since second grade, so not seeing clearly has just been a part of my life.  However, my cataracts made it ten times worse.  I can’t believe what I’ve been missing out on…and there are not even words to describe how thankful I am to gain back my vision!

Anyhoo…onto all the things of the season!

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I, of course, had restrictions after my surgery.  For the most part, no jumping, no lifting, no bending, no unnecessary movement.  For me, sitting around is the hardest thing to do…and when I have no choice!?  It’s even harder!  After listening and resting on the couch for most of the day yesterday, I decided that I would get up and do something that wouldn’t take that much energy and would lift my spirits…I baked cookies!  We are now less than a week away from Christmas and I realized that I hadn’t baked one thing yet!  I have not gone to the store to stock up on necessities for baking but I knew I could get away with some of the basics.  Sadly, I did not have Hershey Kisses so Peanut Butter Blossoms were out…but, don’t worry…I’m sure now that the baking as started, the hubs won’t let too many days go by without demanding Peanut Butter Blossoms.  They are his favorite and, while he will eat whatever cookie I put in front of him, I know, deep down, he will be pining away for his beloved blossoms.

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Last night, I went with a couple of my other favorite cookies.  First, were my grandma’s Ginger Molasses Cookies.  I love the spiced flavor and the fact that they’re chewy.  Who doesn’t love a chewy cookie?  That’s how I definitely prefer mine.  I am just not down with the crunch.

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Next, I made Jessica’s Fat Fluffy Snickerdoodles, which are near and dear to my heart.  Last year, when I was making them, I posted this to my Instagram

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This recipe was the first post I ever read and it was how I got introduced to the blogging community.  My life was forever changed.  It was a tough time in my life and it gave me an outlet that got me through many days and many moments that I just didn’t think I would make it.  Can a cookie really mean that much to someone?  You bet.  I make them every Christmas and, when I do, my heart gets full and I silently thank whoever it was that lead me to the internet that day.

Okay, enough with the mushy stuff.  Back to the cookies.

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Baking is a great way to unwind…unless, I’m over here having a kitchen disaster…which happens more often than I’d like to admit.  However, last night, thankfully, was one of those nights where I felt calm, relaxed, and happy.  I couldn’t have asked for a better night.  I sent half of the cookies to work with the hubs and packaged up the rest to bring into work today.  ‘Tis the Season!

Maybe I’m just in a good mood because I can see again.  Maybe I’m in a good mood because it’s my favorite time of year.  All I know is that, right now, I am happy and I am thankful for that.  It’s so important to keep negativity at bay and surround yourself with all the good.  There is no better season than Christmas to do that!

I hope you are all embracing your happy and enjoying your Friday!  Any last minute shoppers heading out this weekend?  I definitely am!  I am the queen of last minute shopping!

Cheers!
Kelly

Something to share:  What is your favorite Christmas cookie?  Do you bake around the holidays?  What makes you most happy about the holiday season?

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One More To Go…

Good morning, friends!

As you read this, I’m either on my way to, in the middle of, or sleeping off my anesthesia from my second cataract surgery.  The surgery that I’m having today is on my left eye, which is the eye that has given me the most trouble this whole time.  It’s the eye that is cloudy and it is the eye where my problem started.  I had such amazing results in my right eye, I cannot wait for my left eye to be the same.  With any luck, today’s surgery will go as well as my other and, after a bit of watering and scratchiness, I’ll feel as good as new and have a whole new view on life…specifically, one that isn’t cloudy or blurry!!

Until then…I’ll leave you some pics from life lately.  Totally random and I’m totally okay with that!

*New Pink Reading Glasses.  Love.

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*Just Here For Our Student’s Entertainment

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*Jet Helping Mom Make Holiday Tanks (see above)

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*Love Our Town And The Christmas Lights

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*New Colored Wine Glasses Are The Best Birthday Present

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*Asparagus All Day, Every Day

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*The Nutcrackers Came Out Of Their Storage Cubby

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*Last Minute Christmas Cards; Better Late Than Never

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Enjoy your day, friends!  There will be much resting and recuperating here today so I’ll catch you all tomorrow!

Cheers!
Kelly

Something to share:  Are you fully decorated for the holidays?  Have you started/finished shopping?  I have only gotten one present so far but I’m not worried!

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Back Into the Swing of Things

Hello friends and hello Wednesday!

Today, it has officially been one week since my surgery.  The ‘one week mark’ is a pretty important time…I don’t have to wear my big sunglasses outside anymore, I don’t have to wear my eye patch to sleep anymore, I can sleep on my right side again, and, most importantly, I can “resume all normal activities.”

To be honest, there were not a lot of restrictions when it came to my eye.  I just, basically, had to take it easy and rest and not do anything too crazy.  I had to take a week off from working out and teaching and that was probably the hardest part.  Well, that and not being able to sleep on my right side.  I mean, I’m fine sleeping on my back and my left side…but it was one of those things…like, I’m not allowed to sleep on my right side so all I wanted to do was sleep on my right side!?  You know how those kinds of things tend to happen?  With that being said, I’ll probably try to sleep on my right side tonight and it was be the worst thing ever.  Or the best.  We’ll just wait and see.

So, shall we stop talking about things like what side I’m going to sleep on tonight?  Or not sleep on?  Okay, I’m doing it again and I’m stopping for real now.  Let’s talk workouts.

Like I said, not being able to work out and teach was pretty tough.  I know for a lot of people, including myself, it’s very hard to be told to “relax and take it easy.”  It’s so easy to want to keep motoring through all of our normal activities but, sometimes, we just need to listen to orders.  And, that’s what I did.  My plan was too take a full week off from teaching but I ended up teaching last night because someone needed a class covered.  I was told I was fine to do it as long as I was careful and did not go all out with my workout.

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Can I just say how nice it was to get back on stage and sweat a little bit?  Even though I wasn’t working at my max level and kept things pretty low impact at some points, it felt so good to do some activity!  I even woke up this morning feeling better than I have in the past couple of days.  It’s crazy how taking just a short time away from working out can make you appreciate starting back up again!  I had a great group of ladies and, as always, they showed me how awesome they really are by asking how I was feeling and dealing with my modifications during the class.  I made sure to tell them that they had to work harder than normal to compensate for me taking it easy.  They did not disappoint and really stepped it up!

Tonight, I teach another evening class and then, tomorrow, I teach a double.  I plan on still being careful and not going crazy but I know it’s going to be hard to hold back!  I have to make my workouts pretty intense this week so I can make up for the other week I’ll be taking off when I have my second eye done next week.  I’m going to squeeze in as much as I can!

I hope you enjoy your day today!  We’re almost to the weekend!  We have my work Christmas party on Friday night and our nephew’s birthday party on Saturday…so we’re right in the thick of the holiday season with busy weekends!  I wouldn’t have it any other way!

Cheers!
Kelly

P.S. I haven’t even owned my first pair of reading for a week and I already had to stop and buy a new pair on my way to work this morning because I forgot them at our Jazzercise center last night…I can tell that I am probably going to have to own a million pairs and stash them everywhere!

Something to share:  When is the last time you had to take time off from workouts to rest?  How do you handle it?  What does your holiday schedule look like?…parties, get-togethers, shopping?

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The Tale of New Eyes

Hello friends!  Long time, no blog, huh?  I know.  It seems to be the story of my life.  Anyway.  It happens.  I’m moving on.

I wish I could fill you all in on what’s been going on in this hectic life of mine in the past few weeks in one post but…that just won’t be happening.  Today, I’m going to touch on one of the biggest parts…

…the time when I got new eyes.

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Okay, sooooo, maybe I didn’t get totally new eyes, but I do have replacement parts now.  Earlier this year, I shared with you all that I was diagnosed as having cataracts.  Yep.  My 31-year old self had cataracts.  When I left the conversation in my last post, I had decided to defer meeting about surgery and wait to see what happened.  Well, things did not get better.  I struggled with them all summer and, while I was supposed to have a follow-up appointment in October, I bumped it up to August.  When I met with my doctor again, I explained that I felt my eye was getting worse (I still could not notice anything wrong with my right eye).  She took a look and said that both of my cataracts had definitely gotten worse in the four months since she last saw me. She asked me which direction I wanted to move with the suggestion that it was most likely time to talk about surgery.  I figured it was coming and I was secretly hoping that was where I was headed.  I was tired of not being able to see when it was sunny out, when I was golfing, when I was gardening and tired of struggling to see the road while driving at night.  I felt that I was too young to not be able to see and not enjoy the things I loved the most.  I left that day with an appointment set up to meet with a surgeon.

I anxiously awaited my appointment time and felt a bit nervous as I sat down to talk with him.  I was under the impression that I was going to have to ‘sell’ the fact that I wanted surgery.  I was afraid he would say I was too young or that my cataracts were not ‘bad enough’ yet.  He came in, introduced himself, asked me what was going on, and took a look in my eyes.  Then, to my relief, he said, “Wow.  You have quite a cataract!! How do you even see!?”  I exhaled and exclaimed, “I’m so glad you said that because I thought maybe I was blowing this out of proportion!  I really can’t see!”

Overall, he said surgery was an absolute must but, in addition, he was concerned about what brought them on at such a young age.  I have no health problems, I never had trauma to my eyes or head, I have no sugar issues, and I don’t weld (yes, that was a question).  Right that day, he had me do pre-testing for surgery and I left with two surgical dates – one for each eye.  He wanted to see blood work to make sure there wasn’t an underlying problem and, to both our reliefs, it all came back perfect.

So…that brings us today.  I had my first surgery last Wednesday and am getting used to my new lens.  During the surgery, they completely removed my cloudy lens and implanted a new one.  I opted to get a monofocal one, which means it allows me to see far but I have to wear glasses to read.  The surgery will ultimately correct my vision and I will not need contacts anymore, which is such a great benefit!  Right now, things are a little wacky because I do not get my second eye done until December 17 so I have one good eye that needs reading glasses and one bad eye that really can’t see with or without them so things have been interesting.  Sometimes I wear one contact and other times I just leave it out.  It’s either cloudy from my cataract or blurry from my near-sightedness so it really doesn’t matter either way. 

I get to wear a pretty stylish eye patch along with some pretty great sunglasses outside.

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(me: thumbs up post-op and out holiday shopping in my sweet shades)

Honestly, I cannot be more happy with that fact that I was able to find out what was wrong with  my eyes and was able to do something about it.  While I’m slightly stressed because I’m losing my ability to see close-up, I know it was the right thing to do.  The surgeon also said he believed I had a defect since birth that made my lenses settle in an incorrect location, blocking a draining duct, and increasing pressure in my eye.  My surgeries are also going to correct that and prevent me from developing glaucoma as I age.  So…definitely a win-win!

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(my co-worker, Jess, and I.  She had carpel tunnel surgery Monday and I had my eye done Wednesday…it was a rough week in the office!)

Alright, this post is definitely long enough.  There is so much more that I could tell you about everything but I think I’ll give you guys a break for now.  If any of you are still out there reading?  ra

Oh yeah…and the worst thing about this whole cataract surgery business?
I can’t wear eye makeup.  Tragic.

Love,
Your Blurry-Sighted Blogger Friend

Something to share:  Have you ever had any type of eye surgery?  Do you wear contacts or glasses?

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Mustache Dash 5K

So, here’s the story of the race that I was afraid of…the one that came after an entire year of not racing or even running.  Yep.  That’s right.  I didn’t really run for an entire year.  I finished my second half marathon last September and just stopped.  I have no reason why…I just did.  Anyway, my friend (and the best coworker!) asked me if I wanted to run a local 5K that she had done the previous year.  She had a great time I decided, “Absolutely!  I love 5Ks and I’ll have time to get out and prepare!”

Well, I didn’t prepare.  I don’t know where time went.  I was busy.  I was sick.  I had other plans.  So, race day came and I was going out blindly…no training, no practicing.  I wasn’t even sure what my mile time had decreased to since my last race . I didn’t want to know.  I was scared and anxious but also excited.  I knew it was only a 5K and that it wasn’t a big deal…however, everything to me is a big deal and my competitiveness doesn’t allow me to just sit back and not try to do my absolute best (and trying to PR!).

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(timed selfie before the race!)

The race was called the Mustache Dash 5K and was in honor of a man named Ron, who had passed away a few years ago from a heart attack.  This is the second year that his daughter organized the race and all proceeds benefited the American Heart Association.  The run took place at 5pm (which was a perfect time) and I had a busy day before it even started!  I had taught a Jazzercise class that morning and, after that, had spent the day with my mom at a local fall festival.  After the festival, I picked up Jess (my friend who was running with me) and we headed to the park where the race was taking place.

On a side note…we ordered some pretty awesome shirts for our ‘Mustache Dash’.

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On the way there, I realized I forgot my arm band and headphones.  Great.  I wasn’t even going to be able to run with music.  Now, in addition to being nervous because of my lack of practice, I was nervous because I had to run without my phone.  I like to have my music going and I like to know how I’m doing on my mile splits as I’m running.  I feel like all of that keeps me on pace!

We lined up at the starting line and there I was…with my body and the clothes I had on it.  I must say, I did actually feel free to not have anything else wrapped or tied to me…or worry about starting my music and race pace clock on time.  All I had to do was run.  And, that’s what I did.

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(bundled up after the race…I was freezing!)

I just ran.  Each mile was marked but I didn’t know my pace at each one nor did I know how far I had to go to the next one.  I didn’t have music…but I did have the sound of my feet on the pavement and my rhythm of my breathing.  I had the sounds of the lake and woods that we were running through.  And, I loved every second of it.  I ran until I could see the red lights of the race clock ahead at the finish line.  Previous to this, my PR for a 5K was 26:06.  As I approached the clock, I saw it just turn to 26:00.  I pulled everything out at that point and sprinted down to the finish.  I couldn’t believe that I was going to beat 27:00!!

My final time was 26:34.  I finished 29th out of 133 runners and finished first in my age group.  I was shocked.

…and I fell in love with running all over again.  I felt awesome when I finished and I felt awesome that I did the race with just me…no music, no watch, no time…nothing but me and my thoughts.  It was great and I think I’m no longer afraid to go out and just enjoy the run and my surroundings!

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Mustache Dash Success!!

Cheers!
Kelly

Something to share:  Do you always run with music or do you like to get out and experience your surroundings? Tell me about the last time you felt like you had the best run!!

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Scenes from the Weekend

Morning!!  How was your weekend?  I hope it was wonderful!  I had a great weekend and was sad to see it end….however, on Thursday, the hubs and I leave for Mexico for our friends’ wedding and I’m so excited!  I can’t believe the trip is finally here!  It seemed like we booked it so long ago!

I just wanted to pop in today and share some scenes from the weekend.  I taught some Jazzercise, went to a fall festival, and ran a 5K.  Race recap to come…it’s a good one!

Enjoy!!

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(the 5K was called the “Mustache Dash”…which, obviously, meant I had to wear this shirt)

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(great race recap coming up tomorrow!)

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(I love fall running!)

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(University of Pittsburgh marching band…a highlight of the local parade)

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(one of my favorite times of year!)

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(local historical reenactments)

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(I have a love for local history)

I have a full day of work ahead of me today followed by two Jazzercise classes.  I’m hoping to get to a local farm to pick up some pumpkins and mums between the two!  Even though we will be gone for the next week, I would like to have the house fully decorated!  Happy Monday, friends!

Cheers!
Kelly

Something to share:  Tell me an activity from your weekend!  Have you ever had/gone to a destination wedding?

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Fun Friday: Things that Begin with ‘F’

TGIF, friends!  We made it to the weekend!

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Seriously, that picture cracks me up.

Anywho.  For Fun Friday this week, I thought I’d share some things that have been going on….and, coincidentally, a lot of them began (or I could stretch them to begin with) the letter “F”.  I love myself a good themed post so I just ran with it!  Here it goes!

**Football**

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(the line of cars waiting to get in to one of our local high school football games)

It’s football time here in Western PA…and, I guess, everywhere else, too!  I absolutely love football.  I believe that my love, obviously, came from my family who will pretty much drop everything when there is a game on TV.  It doesn’t matter who is playing…we want to watch.  In addition to pro, I enjoy both college and high school.  One of our best friends is a high school coach and we try to catch his games when we can…his wife and I have sat through many a cold and rainy night just to show our support!

**Foliage**

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This past weekend, my parents and I hit up one of the local Fall festivals that we attend every year.  If you’re not new here, you know that we visit the town of Bedford once a year to take in all the crafts, antiques, and good eats its “Fall Foliage Festival” has to offer.  The festival always runs the first two weeks of October and we always plan to get in at one day there.  This year didn’t disappoint…we had a great time, as always.

**Flu**

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(sleeping away my life in our recliner while sporting a pretty sweet slipper/sock combo)

Unfortunately, I have to add this to my list of ‘F’ words that have been in my life lately.  While I had a great time at the fall festival on Sunday, half way through the day, I started to feel a little strange.  I couldn’t clear my throat and started to feel a little congested.  As we walked around, I noticed that my hip had started to hurt.  I just chalked all that up to the fact that it was cold outside and that I wasn’t used to it.  Nope.  I was wrong.  The later the day got, the worse I felt.  Within a couple of hours, it was full-blown.  Aches, pains, chills, sweats, a fever, and a sore throat…after the festival, I even slept at my parents’ for a few hours because I just couldn’t bring myself to drive home.  I took a sick day from work on Monday and have slowly been feeling back to myself again.  Thank goodness…I don’t have time to get knocked down like that!

**Frightening**

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Okay.  I know.  The word frightening is a little bit of a stretch…but I wanted to touch on the fact that I’m so excited that it’s time to break out the Halloween ghost and goblins that I love having around my house during this time of year!  If you know me, you know my decorations of choice are skeletons…but I don’t discriminate.  Pumpkins and ghosts work just as well!

**Friends**

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Yesterday, at work, we showed our support for Breast Cancer Awareness Month by wearing our pink to the office.  I am so lucky that I get to call my coworkers ‘friends.’  I would, honestly, never make it through the day without them and love that they make my day better each and every time I see them!  We also enjoy taking selfies at work…I, mean, really enjoy…probably a little too much…

Alright, guys…I guess I’ll end with the best ‘F’ word of all!  FRIDAY!!  I hope you all enjoy your day and your weekend.  Mine is jam-packed with Jazzercise, another fall festival, a 5K (my first race in over a year…yikes!), and dinner/quality time with the fam.  I’m looking forward to it!

Cheers!
Kelly

Something to share:  Share something going on in your life currently!…can you make it begin with ‘F’?

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Avocados Everywhere!

Hello friends! So…you can be one of two types of people in the world… …people who are afraid to eat anything green …and, people who aren’t. I, myself, fall into that second category.  Anything green?  Please, put it on my plate and, then, give me seconds!  My husband, on the … Keep Reading….

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Fun Friday: New Music

Hello!  Happy Friday!  Or…should I roll with my typical Friday greeting of TGIF?  Either way…the weekend is almost here!

Today, I want to share with you all the music from our latest Jazzercise routine set.  We get five sets of about thirty routines a year, which pans out to be about one every ten weeks.  It’s one way that Jazzercise stays so fresh and current and on top of things!  In addition to working out to my favorite popular songs, I always find one or two gems in the list that I would have never heard if it weren’t included as a routine song.  I love how I am constantly expanding my music library!

Anyway, last week, our new set was released.  I have to say that I am more than excited about our new stuff!  Both the music and the routines that accompany the songs are awesome!  So, here is our new list, which I’ll share with you…I always hope you see some of your current favorites in addition to maybe adding a new one to your list!!

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My top favorites from this list are Bo$$, Must Be Love, and Fireball!

***A side note to my Saturday morning 8:15 class:  the entire class may be made up of new routines…I just can’t stop learning them!***

Cheers!
Kelly

Something to share:  Do you see any of your current favorite songs on the list?  Do you have a current favorite workout song?  Share what you’re loving right now!

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