First Zumba Class!

Well last night was my very first zumba class, and boy oh boy was it an incredible workout. It is completely polar opposite of tai chi but I loved it. I have always loved to dance…I am terrible but it was so fun.

The instructor was incredible, she made me so welcome in the class. There were three other ladies about the same age as me that were new to zumba as well. She really took time to make us feel comfortable. Before we started the class she said something that really stuck with me and made me feel comfortable, “even if you think you don’t know what you are doing, keep moving, keep shaking, and you are doing it perfect.”
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The ladies who are “regulars” with zumba were really nice too. While we were waiting for the instructor to arrive they were chatting with us and helping us feel welcomed. They talked about how long they had be doing zumba and how much they loved it. The group of women called themselves a zumba family, it really felt like they were too. It was such an awesome environment to be in.

The music was very different than I am used to but it was a great change of pace for me. It was a mix of Latin, hip hop, and pop to keep the energy high. Zumba is a mix of all sorts of dance; Latin, jazz, rhythm, and everything in-between. For me it was mostly jiggling around but somehow I felt get doing it. Even though I love dancing I don’t have any rhythm to keep my on beat but the instructor would call out cue’s to move and it was really easy watching her in the mirror.

After class everyone kind of hung around and chatted about each other’s families and just daily life. It was really neat seeing how this group of women started out taking the same class and now are great friends. They were so kind, asking me questions and getting to know me. A few ladies had just become empty nesters this year, so I was able to give them a little advice!

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I laughed and had so much fun the entire 55 minutes of zumba my abs were sore from moving and laughing so much.  The women who come regularly were so good, they knew all the moves and what came next. I am not worried though, I will be like them soon enough; I will be making zumba a part of my weekly routine for sure.

Zumba was the most fun I have had working out in a really long time. It felt great changing up my routine and letting lose a little.

Until next time, zumba away!

Nancy

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Thanksgiving Planning

It is the weekend before Thanksgiving, which means I need to get most of my grocery shopping done and ready to go on Thursday. I know the holidays aren’t an excuse to give up the healthy lifestyle I have created, but it is one of my favorite holidays and I do allow myself to indulge just a little bit. Thanksgiving is a time to reflect and give thanks for everything we have and how we have grown.

This year is going to be a really special Thanksgiving. Bobby and Clara are coming home…YAY, and Clara’s boyfriend, my parents, my husband’s parents, and a couple my husband and I are friends with. Our friend’s child moved out years ago and always came back for the holidays, this year she is working in abroad and can’t make it home for the holidays so we welcomed them with open arms. I am excited to have a full house!

Luckily everyone offered to bring a dish or a dessert so I don’t have to cook and bake everything; Clara even offered again for the second year in a row.  I am making the turkey, three sides, and the drinks. It doesn’t seem like that much, but once I started writing down everything I need my list grew very fast!

I am excited to share some of our yummy family recipes with our friends this year.

This afternoon I ran to the store to pick up my list, I was surprised that is wasn’t that busy. I assumed it was going to be packed with people buying everything for Thanksgiving. I was in and out of the store in less than an hour, and that even including a little chat with a client I saw.

To stay organized with the ingredients I separated everything by dish and if it needed to be refrigerated. I saw this idea on Pinterest and gave it a try, hopefully when it comes time to start preparing all the dishes it will be easier!

With all this food in the house and knowing what we are going to be eating for Thanksgiving, I am going to make sure I eat healthy and exercise this week! Now I need to come up with something for dinner for tonight, wish me luck! 🙂
Until Next Time,

happy-thanksgiving
Nancy

Keeping up with Tai Chi

I have been practicing tai chi for nearly 4 years and couldn’t be happier with how it has changed my outlook and wellbeing. I began only taking one class a week, now I am in two classes a week and practice at home almost every day. It was the catalyst I needed to jump start my physical activity and wellbeing of becoming an empty nester.

I have been able to witness my body change through lifestyle changes in addition to my tai chi regimen. Tai chi works with the internal energy and channels it to be useful in physically ways. It physically works your muscles and joints to unify the breathing and improves circulation of the blood and lymphatic glands to increase the effectiveness of the immune system.

I have felt my physical, emotional, and mental wellbeing increase through tai chi. I never expected it to impact my life so much, I am so happy with who it has helped me become. I try practicing it as often as I can at home even when I don’t have much time.

I have learned a few techniques through tai chi that I use when I am stressed and feel my body and emotions acting up where ever I am.

• When I have feeling stressed or can feel a hot flash coming on, I simply sit down and relax by taking deep breaths. Breathing in through my nose and out through my mouth has been a tai chi technique that has benefited me in countless ways.

• When I need to release tension or frustration I tense up my entire body, from my toes to my forehead. I hold it for a few seconds then release my muscles and my tension and frustration.

• While I am waiting for water to boil, the oven to preheat, or a timer I do a few opening movements to open my body and my mind. It is really simple and when practiced with the breathing, can really help focus and clear my mind.

Tai chi has inspired me to try some other group fitness classes because of how much I enjoy being around others and working towards a goal together. I have heard so much about jazzercise from you lovely readers, I set out to find one. I found out my gym doesn’t offer it but I signed up for a zumba class instead. The woman at the gym said it was very similar and that they had replaced the jazzercise class with it. The first class is next week and can’t wait to see how I feel after it.

Until next time,

Nancy

Halloween Party Flowers

Happy Halloween all you spooky readers! 🙂
There is something about Halloween that brings out the child in me.  Every year my husband and I decorate our front porch for all the little goblins to come up and get treats for some tricks!  I love seeing the little kids dressed up and so excited about the treats.  To make this Halloween a little better, my floral shop made some spook-tacular floral arrangements for a Halloween party.

I think I have decided making floral arrangements for fall and Halloween parties are my favorite.  I love mixing beautiful flowers with gourds and pumpkins to create a unique and almost dark feel.  This event was really fun because the client was a close friend of my boss so we had a lot of freedom to design haunted creations! 🙂

I made one of my favorite decorations thus far for the Halloween event.  We put small pumpkins into large fish bowls and wrapped red garland and black calla lilies around the interior of the fish bowls.  They somehow looked “spooky chic.”

spooky chic

We also made an arrangement using yellow roses, greens, and purple leaves to create an old eerie feeling.  My boss has this spray she uses often in Halloween decorations and flowers.  It makes the flowers look aged and grungy, I love it!

Another customer just wanted one centerpiece for a Halloween party.  I was able to get creative with this arrangement.  I used some bright flowers, cat tails, wheat twigs, and other grasses to create an almost mystical looking combination.  To make it more fitting for a Halloween party I put the arrangement in a skull vase.  It looked even better than I thought it would.

I am so happy I found my passion working with flowers and helping decorate for events.  It makes my life so much fun and each day is a new adventure.  Like the saying by Confucius goes, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”

orange-flowers

I have yet to work a day.

🙂

Happy Halloween!

Until Next Time,

Nancy