59 Like It Is

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The Scoop

So this week I realized that I am not a routine sort of person. You would think by my age I would have already figured that out. But I realized that life is about the journey for me and I am never done. I never think I can stop now this is good enough. I always wake up every day with some hair brained idea and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.

I am routine in that I am always thinking big picture. I am always thinking about how I can feel good health wise. I am always looking for ways to enjoy activity, ways to eat good food that is good for me and always thinking “am I fully baked?”

I look in the mirror and I see a 59-year old woman. Can I make her better? Do I need to? Do I want to?

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My Week In Exercise

My week is typical or not so typical for me. I don’t do the same thing every day much less every week.

Monday: 30 minutes of yoga followed by upper body strength training.

Up side, it felt so good to stretch. Down side, I find lifting weights boring.

Tuesday: 30 minutes of yoga, followed by lower body weights

Wednesday: 30 minute walk, 30 minutes of yoga and upper body strength training

Up side, I adore being outside and I have the most beautiful trails to walk and run on. It brings joy to my heart.

Thursday: I was sore and tired so I just worked in the yard a little. Plus I always get mild hemorrhoids when I do a new weight lifting routine. Not my best day! Ugh!

Friday: 30 minute HIIT run, 30 minutes of yoga and lower body strength training.

Up side, I love the cardio zen I feel when I get to run. Down side, I have cut back on running so I can do more strength training.

Saturday: Will be travel day and next week I will be in the mountains with a new routine.

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My Week In Food

We have been transitioning to a mostly vegetarian diet. We eat fish still but cut out beef, chicken, pork, etc. We also have cut out sugar. So I am learning how to cook a new way. In some ways it is easier but in some ways it is more difficult. It’s nice not to have to thaw and cook meat every evening but it is hard to put together flavorful dishes. But I have made some fabulous dishes that gives me hope.

I also gave up wine completely. Wow, I never thought I would do that. But the research shows it’s just not that good for me. So I am drinking a lot of iced green tea with lemon. We have given ourselves one night a week to go out to eat anything we want and drink a glass of wine. I like this because it makes going out much more fun and special.

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My Week In Beauty

You know I don’t wear a ton of make up but in these pictures I have no make up on. And I have been going a few days a week, makeup free. It is an adjustment to see myself. I am blond so my eyelashes and eyebrows are blond so its a change to see them natural. I know I sound like I’ve went off the deep end but I have not been painting my nails either. I am trying to let them grow out and strengthen product free. It’s kind of nice not to need to constantly do my nails.

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My Look

I took these pictures before my HIIT run on Friday. Everything is old and it is a really cute outfit but when I was running the leggings kept sliding off! So every time I slowed down I had to pull them up. So good on the cute factor but not so good on the function! Ha ha.

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Its All About Showing Up- a little story about aging

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The Scoop

I haven’t done a fitness post for a while and since that is one of the things I think about and work on the most I thought I would share how it’s going. If you follow me much you know that I love to stay active and eat healthy. But I also love to have fun and treat myself to all the things I love.

The last couple of years I have noticed that I struggle a little more with keeping up the activities I love. I’m a little slower, more prone to sore muscles and less motivated to do difficult activities. My weight is up a few pounds over where I feel best this past year too. And I find it harder to be disciplined enough to drop the weight which for me means cutting calories. This is all new to me. My whole like if I wanted to lose a few pounds I could do it in a few weeks. So I have been reevaluating my whole routine.

Here is what I am doing right now. First I try to do what is right for my body at least 80% of the time. That has been a life-long rule for me. I am still at a healthy weight so I mostly will just maintain my 125 to 127 pounds (which is where my weight seems to have settled) rather than worry about being 120 pounds. If what I do helps me lose a few pounds I will be fine with it. I have been doing HIIT runs,meaning that I do a five minute walk to warm up then I run at top speed for a minute and then walk for a minute and repeat for 30 minutes on hills. I do this every other day. On the opposite days I have been doing a 30 minute yoga session followed by a three mile walk on the trails around here that are very hilly. I work in a day off every few days.

I have been studying the new research on strength training and am finding there is a lot of false information out there in main stream media. Strength training doesn’t only mean you have to be in a gym with machines or free weights. There are many ways to build muscle that is lost through sarcopenia (muscle loss due to ageing). Running, hiking and even walking builds strength and muscle. Not only can it prevent sarcopenia it can reverse muscle loss due to aging. Here is a great article that sorts out some of the things we hear in the media today. My goal is to push my muscles to failure or to exhaustion because that is what builds muscle. I do that through my HIIT runs, hiking, and even my yoga pushes my muscles to exhaustion. Have you ever hiked or done somethings similar and felt your leg muscles go weak? Or with yoga you push your arm muscles until they shake? That’s the key.

As for eating I have not been meeting my normal standards. I am craving lots of unhealthy things and so I really have to think about what I am eating. As a rule we eat lots of vegetable, beans, legumes, etc., fresh fruits, lean meats in small amounts, etc. We have been trying pastas made of lentils, quinoa, and garbanzo beans and we really like them. I have a glass wine only a few times a week since alcohol can do a lot of damage. But I make brownies and cookies which probably aren’t the best for us. But at least they are home made so no preservatives and things like that.

My weight is up also because my hormones are out of balance. I have used bio identical hormones since I went thorough menopause at the age of 47 and recent tests showed I was getting too much estrogen and testosterone which among other things makes you hungry thus my eating like a teenage boy. Ha ha! So I am working with my doctor to adjust my dosages. I can already tell a difference and it’s only been a couple of weeks.

Anyway the point of me sharing all this is to say staying fit as most things in life ebbs and flows. There are easy times, good times, and then more difficult or down right hard times. One thing I know for sure is it is all about showing up. Each day is a new day and a chance to be good to my body. I just turned 59 and I am very aware that you can retain what you can’t regain. I know if I stop taking care of myself it is all down hill. So I show up!

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Fun Thing

I watch a lot of public television and recently I saw a show talking about the popularity of boulder climbing. Yes people climb big boulders for fun here in Idaho! It was crazy to watch. I consider myself a boulder jumper. We have lots of big boulders around our house in the mountains and for years I have ran at them and half climbed half jumped for pictures for my blog. I use a tripod and timer so that means I have ten seconds to get my butt up and in position. I have had so many laughs as I miss my target or fall. There I am in the middle of nowhere, by myself laughing like a nut trying to get a picture. Lots of times I get up and realize I lost my high heels and there they are laying the ground. Ha ha. The boulder in the picture below is small so one good hop and I was up but some require much more work.

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You can see all my looks on the LiketoKnow.it app when you search northwestmountainliving. Just download the free app and follow me or go to the shop tab on the blog to see them.

That’s it gang! Thanks for stopping by!

Peace!

P.S. I started a new IG Account called @northwestmountainliving. If you want to follow along check it out because I will be linking all my outfits and maybe adding some try-on haul stories soon!

Moving Is The Thing Over 50

MOVING IS THE THING

Just because I love to run doesn't mean I think it is right for everyone. The point I'm trying to make is that an appropriate level of physical activity is important for everyone for good health, mind and body. We all need to find what makes us feel like a kid again and do it often. Start by thinking about what activities you loved as a child. I loved to run. I can remember my mom saying all the time, "Cheryl has two speeds, running and asleep." I have not changed. I would rather run than walk most of the time. When I run I feel like I leave all my troubles behind in the wind. I seem to think more clearly while running. I plan what I want to do for the day, I think of fun conversations and about almost anything positive. It is meditation for me.

How much I run and how often varies day-to-day or month-to-month. And that is part of the benefit. When you played as child, you didn't do the same thing every day, you mixed it up because it was about having fun not forcing yourself to get a workout in.

Right now I am running three miles every other day and then on the alternate days I am doing a 30 minute yoga practice and a bare bones strength training routine that incorporates push-ups (for upper body), dead lifts (for core), planks (core), squats and lunges (lower body) and tricep-dips (arms). The first three exercises use major muscle groups and the tricep-dips I added because that is an area I want to firm up more. I found a fun 30 day Plank Challenge app for my phone that leads me through daily planks to help me build my core and I love how it takes only a couple of minutes and makes such a difference. I take one day off and some days instead of my usual routine I take walks or hikes for fun with my husband.

THE TRUTH According to Science

For the over fifty crowd, common sense and, increasingly, research suggests that constant use will slow the loss of our physical capabilities, form, and balance. The same research shows that, once lost, it may be difficult or impossible to regain former capabilities. The problem centers on the nerves that control our muscles. From 50 or 60 on, the permanent loss of the nerve connections to our muscles begins to accelerate. Depressing, I know but a recent study by McPhee published in the Journal of Physiology provides reason for optimism for those who stay fit.

As it turns out, older healthy muscles (meaning well developed through frequent exercise, good diet, etc.) enjoy a protection that less healthy muscles do not. Even though nerves controlling muscles decline with age, and this decline accelerates over 50 or 60, surviving nerves in healthy muscles can send out new branches to rescue muscles and stop them from wasting away.

This study by the American Journal of Physiology was conducted on men but it may be true for women as well.

Translation? If you keep at it, your ability to play tennis, lift weights, cycle, and so forth can be retained with minimal loss of nerve connections, although other studies show that you will need to spend more time exercising as you age to achieve the same results. Constantly used and challenged nerve connections find a way to survive. The "challenged" part of the equation points to the importance of mixing up your exercise routines. Changing even a small part of your activities builds new connections. (Trainers have long known that you need to “surprise” your muscles frequently because they tend to develop to the specific demand and no more.) For example, if tennis is your go-to activity, play doubles and singles, switch between one and two-handed form, try a few net shots with the other hand; play at night and in the day and consider learning similar sports. Still depressed? There may be a way to beat the odds and actually regain skills you lost through disuse. I don’t see a miracle on the horizon but a secret may be not only how much but how you exercise. Stay tuned.

I hope you found this information useful and if so stay tuned for next Monday when I talk about “Eating Using The 80% Rule” where I will dive a little deeper into Intermittent Fasting and how I try to eat for a healthy lifestyle.

That's all I have for today! Make sure to go out and play!

Peace!

 

Move It Or Lose It Over 50

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The Scoop

Hey gang! Well, it is the first Monday in February and I am ready for it! I love new beginnings, even the beginnings of each new week. With new beginnings I think about what I want to do to make my life fresh, purposeful and fun! This month I want to really focus on fitness. I’m not talking about losing weight but about finding a balance between a happy life and being fit. For me being fit equates with my happiness.

Anyway long story short, I am going to look at my fitness journey over the last couple of years and see how it has evolved. I am doing these posts for myself as much as anything because they give me direction, keep motivated and held accountable. I hope you will follow along and share your thoughts as well!

Note: If you’re not into the fitness posts don’t worry I will be doing my regular fashion and lifestyle posts mixed right in with the fitness.

MOVE IT OR LOSE IT

Nothing much has changed for me regarding this phrase. Science supports it. If you don’t stay active you lose the ability to be active. This varies in degrees depending on many things like genetics, current health, lifestyle and much more.

I’ll start this series by answering frequently asked questions regarding my age, diet, and activities. You can see how it has changed or evolved from a couple of summers ago when I did a series of Move It Or Lose It posts by going here and scrolling down to my first post on June 24, 2017. Or you can go to the top of this page under Home and click on Health & Beauty. And now let’s get crackin’!

FAQ

1. How old are you?

I am 58.

2. How much do you weigh?

My weight usually runs between 120 and 125.

4. How tall are you?

Exactly 5’ 4 & 3/4”. I round to 5’5”

5. How do you stay fit? 

I was raised by a very active dad and a mom who taught me the importance of taking care of my body. My mom taught me about healthy eating and the importance of not smoking. So it has always been a part of my life. She never gave us sugar or sodas and I am grateful because I still have every tooth I was born with.

My diet is not rigid so when I say I do something I mean, most of the time. Maybe 80% of the time. I don't beat myself up too much if do something out of line with what I think is healthy. To me, being happy is the most important thing to staying healthy. If I deprived myself of foods I loved I would be truly unhappy.

I love to cook and eat. I try to eat less meat which is not too difficult because I don't think meat has much flavor on its own. It is what you put on it that gives it flavor. I love all fruits and vegetables. I love nuts, grains, beans, etc. I used to love bread but have learned to tone it down. Maybe a slice of whole grain now and then. When I do pasta which is not too often I do whole grain also. We eat very little sugar and use only olive or avocado oil for cooking. Here is a typical day for me. 

Breakfast: I eat late in the morning around 10 or 11 AM most days. My two favorite breakfasts are scrambled eggs with spinach, tomato and avocado or a bowl of steel cut oats with banana, honey, peanut butter and almond milk . I also like mixed berries with wheat germ and walnuts in Greek yogurt for a really quick meal.

My breakfasts are varied most usually, thinking is it good for my body. I love a doughnut but can’t stand the logy feeling it gives me when I am done. I also am very careful about portions. Too much of even healthy food makes be feel bloated and sleepy while my body tries to digest.

Lunch: My favorite lunch is to make a dip using 1/4 cup of cottage cheese mixed with 1/4 cup homemade salsa. I dip organic corn chips (from Costco) in it. I'm addicted to this right now!  Just about 1/2 cup each mixed really fills me up and I don’t get sleepy.

Snack: I try not to snack but when I do it is fruits, nuts, seeds. They are so good for us and I love them. Sometimes I have a treat by taking a couple of dates and filling them with goat cheese. I die! I do eat cheese, I just try to watch my portions.

Dinner: It varies but we often mix a can of beans (any kind, but we like black or cannelloni) a can of chopped tomatoes ( I prefer fire roasted tomatoes) onion, garlic, jalapenos or some other heat and chopped roasted organic chicken breast. It is fast, easy, filling and delicious! At least a couple of nights a week we will have a burger or home made pizza. I love to make my own crust and pizza which keeps it more healthy. We eat a lot of salads too. I make lots of healthy soups. I also don’t eat after 6:30 or 7 PM. I will write about why in future post.

Exercise: I have always been active. It is hard for me to sit long. I have walked, lifted weights, practiced yoga, ran, hiked, etc. I started running in my mid-40s and loved it so much that I still do it.

I currently am doing fartlek runs where I run fast five minutes then walk or jog two minutes then run five again, and so on. I do this for 30 minutes. This is when I am in Phoenix. When I am at our mountain home I do trail runs on a mountain trail that’s just outside our door for two miles. We live at a 5,300 foot elevation and the trails are fairly rugged and up and down hill so two miles is quite a work out. I do these runs two to three times a week. On the other days I either walk 3+ miles or do a one a hour hike at a local mountain. I really do something every day but once in a while I take a day off. These workouts are not easy for me, I get tired in a way that I didn’t when I was younger but they are fun! My husband does all the walks and hikes with me.

Sleep: I want to add this because I feel it is so important. I know not everyone can just fall asleep and stay asleep but I do and I sleep most nights between seven and nine hours. I think all the exercise helps with my sleep.

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So this is my normal routine as of now. Like I said I hit this mark 80% of the time so it is not perfect but who needs perfect? Stay tuned for my next post where I will be talking about “ Moving Is The Thing”

Excerpt: “For the over fifty crowd, common sense and, increasingly, scientific research suggests that constant use will retain our physical capabilities and form. Once lost, however, it may be difficult or impossible to regain former capabilities.“

Thanks for stopping by!

Peace!


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Seasons Of My Life

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Autumn

my favorite season

The Scoop

Happy New Year gang! I hope you had a fabulous holiday season. Mine was fine but I am so ready for new beginnings. I never look back, only forward and if I look really close I can see hope and joy. But there are some unknowns.

You see, I break my life up into seasons. The early years, birth to twenty 25 were like spring, fresh, new, a time to learn. Then from about 25 to 50, I felt like my life was summer. Warm, a time to nurture others, continue to learn and bask in the potentials of future. At about 50 I feel like I moved into the autumn of my life. My favorite time so far. I have let go of some of the need to nurture others and spend more time taking care of myself. I feel I am stronger mentally and physically than in the spring of my life and more confident than summer. Like the seasons, I want autumn to never end. I am not certain when I will enter my winter season. I know physically a lot of the decline that comes with aging can really show up in the 70s. The winter season for me is where the unknown is lurking. When will I start needing more support? When will I notice physical decline that can’t be reversed? When will I look in the mirror and see a stranger? Or will any of that happen? Questions, there are many to answer or not. I plan to put one foot in front of the other and continue this journey with a grateful heart. I wake up every day thinking anything can happen and it could be wonderful!

Resolutions Not

This is the first year I can remember where I did not make resolutions. I decided to be reckless and wing it! That is a big deal for a Type A person. I did wake up feeling renewed in a way that only the start of a new year can make me feel. I put on my old workout clothes and prepared for a morning run.

We are in Arizona now for a few months and it is cold for this part of the country. Close to freezing at night and highs in the 40s the first few days here. The forecast looks to be sunny and warmer though with each passing day. Anyway, I have three layers on here to keep me warm for my run. And since it has been muddy and raining I am wearing all old things saving my new active wear for nicer weather. And I can’t wait.

I haven’’t run consistently for a while so I wasn’t sure how it would go. But five minutes in I was feeling the old elated feeling that running brings me. Joy was in my heart and I was thinking of potentials and positives rather than the gloom and doom swirling around this old world right now. I went two and half miles and everything was working fine. It was the best way to start the first day of the new year.

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In my mom’s words

Cheryl only has two speeds, running and asleep.

My Look

I’m wearing Adidas leggings, Nike running shoes, a long sleeved white tee, pink pullover and black active wear jacket and my iWatch. Everything is old but I am linking some great options.

Breakfast of Champions

Well my breakfast anyway. Ha ha! Lately I have been enjoying this meal after a run or hike. It is very healthy and so good. I get the big bags of frozen berries which are supposed to be even more nutritious than fresh and add a cup to a half cup of Greek yogurt, fresh walnuts and a couple tablespoons of wheatgerm. Mix it up and enjoy!

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Peace!

Thanks for stopping by!

Staying Connected

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Tricking My Old Body

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Change

does me good.

the scoop

I have always been into eating right and exercising. Nothing over the top but consistent. I have tricks up my sleeves that worked for me when I put on a few pounds. They were never fail until recently. My body is saying I know what you are up to and I am not going to go along with it. So I decided to try something new. My new plan is to trick my body! Ha ha!

How? Well, I now do something different every single day. So my body never knows what the heck is going on. Nothing earth shattering. Just one day I walk, one day I run, one day I weight train just one muscle group or one day I work my whole body through circuit weight training. Some days I clean the garage and some days I rearrange all our furniture.

I like this plan because I don’t get bored and I can always find something to do. My body has seen it all. All I have left is the element of surprise. And I can report that I am very strong. My husband is freaked out by the things I can lift. And my heart is strong. I can run for long distances without hardly breaking a sweat. I have a problem with a thick waist but I am on the case. My motto is move it or lose it!

my look

One of the things I know for sure is that I feel more fit when I wear fitness clothing. This outfit is all older things but I love these floral leggings and this longer black tee with a twist front. I have a little bomber jacket for when I am outside and basic black sneakers. All of this is old but I have been collecting active wear for years and love to dress for all occasions. Even exercising. You know, fake til you make it!

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sup’

  • It’s Friday and I am going to take the day off and relax. Maybe watch an old movie.

  • My friend and I worked for several hours on our YouTube video yesterday and it was so fun. We are learning from the ground up and the one thing we know for sure is that we have a lot to learn.

  • For dinner I am making my favorite Butternut Squash Soup with Chipotle Cream. Here is the recipe.

  • I added a Holiday Shopping Guide link up top and will be updating it often. Tis the season!

create your look

I always buy active wear on sale so I’m linking up some options for you.

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Peace!

Thanks for stopping by!

See my Stella directing the show from her director’s chair? She is my heart.

Staying Connected

If you want to easily keep in touch with me, sign up for my updates or follow me on Bloglovin. I try to add interesting things to my updates not found on the blog so I hope you will find them a great supplement to my blog posts.

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How I Wear Flats For Fall

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Comfort

it’s a good thing!

the scoop

Since we’ve have been spending so much time here in the city I have been wearing comfy flats a lot. You can see the stairs in our house and imagine the old walking into a room and forgetting why you’re there scenario. So I am running up and down those steps it seems a million times a day. Plus I take our dogs for a least two walks a day to get them out in the fresh air. Also we do a lot more running around here, like going to Costco (so much that the greeter says when we leave, “see you tomorrow!” Ha Ha.) It seems we always forget something we need and my husband loves Costco. We also love to go to thrift shops and explore the area. Anyway flats are in order for a lifestyle like this.

my look

The problem for me with flats is I don’t like the look as much as heels. So I am always on the look for a fabulous versatile flat. I found these a week ago and wear them almost daily. They have a quilted leather look that is so fun and they are black so they go with everything. I wear them with leggings, jeans, and even casual dresses. They slip on and off easily which is nice too.

In this look I also dug out something from my closet that I bet most everyone has. My leather scuba jacket. This thing has been in my closet for at least ten years. I felt like it was out of style the last few years but knew it was a classic that would show up on trend again. This is another basic that you can wear casual or dress up. Obsessed!

I wore my pixi pants from Old Navy (Spring find) and a black cami. The necklace is an old find from a local consignment shop. I have to go visit that shop again now that I am in town.

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these stairs

good for the glutes!

outfit details

I’m wearing Pixi pants from Old Navy. Linked exact style and they come in many colors and prints. Wouldn’t the floral be fun for fall? I’m linking exact flats by Steve Madden. Love these so much I think will get a second color. I also linked my favorite cami from Express. I have these in so many colors. They are lined and very well made. I got my jacket several years ago at Overstock.com. It is a beautiful lambskin leather and very well made. I found similar ones there to link.

sup’

  • I am so excited to try out recipes that were sent to me in my last post. Thank you to those of you who sent them!

  • Yesterday I did HIIT outside with a run. I have an app that tells me when to run and when to walk. I run as fast as I can on the run parts. Awesome workout and it was so beautiful outside that I got my runners high in 30 minutes! Today is YMCA day where I do a weight circuit. I use the machines made for children or smaller people so they fit me just right and I move from machine to machine to get my heart rate up. I walk on the treadmill first for 20 minutes to warm up. Forty minutes and I am done!

  • I’m meeting one of my blog readers for coffee tomorrow and can’t wait. She recognized me in a restaurant in our mountain home town a summer ago and we hit it off right away. She lives near me in the city so we are going to get coffee and catch up! I’ve met so many wonderful people through this blog. That’s one of my favorite parts of blogging!

  • Is anyone else spending a lot of time thinking about the big bag of Halloween candy in the cupboard?

  • Today I have to pick up dry cleaning, confirm with the gutter company and plan our trip to the mountains. I also have to schedule vet appointments, go to the Y and oh well the list goes on. Ha ha!

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Peace!

Thanks for stopping by!

staying connected

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The Count Down And Other Bits

Five days

until the calendar marks another year to my life.

the scoop

I have heard people say all my life that they are too old to do something anymore. I say I am too old not to do things. If not now, when? That is way more logical. Every time I hear that voice in my head say, you're getting too old for that I take the time to correct it. I'm not too old to do anything and I'm not wasting time debating it. It ain't over for me until I'm in the ground. Ha ha!

So this week the count down has begun to my birthday and each day I plan to do something that some would say I'm too old to do. Today I did my trail run and enjoyed it completely. After my run I made a bowl of steel cut oats with mixed berries and honey and almond milk to break my fast. If you don't know what I'm talking about read here.

outdoor living

The above picture on the left is right outside my front door. The picture on the right is my back deck. It's finally turned summer here and I am loving being outside as much as possible. To smell the pine of the trees and feel the sun on my back is like heaven to me. We sold our old wooden deck furniture this year and bought a comfy seating arrangement and I am loving it. I sit outside and read and watch the wild life and cuddle with my dogs and in the evenings my husband and I play cards and eat dinner outside. 

Find what you love to do

and do it!

my look

This is my motivation outfit. If I don't feel like working out I just put on workout clothes and find I am excited to work out. It's just another area where when you look good, you feel good. Oh it's true we all have low days but the trick is to keep up the fight. 

I'm wearing capri leggings, a sports tank and running shoes. I have my sunglasses and my running app with music ready to go. What could stop me now?

I almost always get my active wear on sale and here are some great items for great prices!

pictures above

Each spring I ready our front entry for summer. I have a couple of benches with pillows and a couple of planters that I fill with flowers. I was lazy this year and just planted Marigolds. They are supposed to repel bugs and I love the pretty yellows and oranges. Keeping things simple gives me more time to do the things I love. 

picture below

I take a lot of pictures in this part of my house because I can usually get enough light for them. It's basically my media room and office area. My laundry room is behind that door and it seems I always have laundry going so it is nice to have it close to my office. I rarely sit still for long so my environment is very functional. I am right next to my kitchen here too. This is nice because I love to cook and almost always have something prepping.

Peace!

And thanks for stopping by!

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Follow

other link ups

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My Next Challenge In Fitness Adventures

Whoa! I've hit a plateau!

What's up with that?

It's true! In all my years I have had a pretty good grip on my fitness routines. I limit my yoyoing to about 3 or 4 pounds and when I am up a few I immediately make the changes in my lifestyle to drop them. It's always been to take in fewer calories than I burn. It works and its fast and basically easy. Two weeks and done!

But this spring I haven't had the will power for lack of a better word to do what I know works for me. For the first time in my life, I almost don't care. But it just hit me recently. If I don't care about myself who will? 

So I am taking the reins for this ride and making changes. I have always been active. Always exercising most days added to not sitting much during the day. I think that has been part of my problem this winter. Sitting too much during the day.

So what will I do?

Go back to the tried and true. Consume less fuel and use more energy.

I've already started the process. I plan an activity for each day that uses my energy. Something that makes me move and keeps me engaged. I started with my closet. A full day of physical work moving the winter/fall things up and bringing my spring/summer things front and center. Next day was my office. I rearranged the furniture, cleaned and organized and boom another day of major activity. I have a list a mile long, especially as the weather warms up and I have the great outdoors to conquer. I also do my regular three-mile runs every other day. And I added a new weight training program for the days I don't run.

What about food? I have been showing you the healthy meals I have been making on my IG stories, and weekend blog posts like here and here. I'm pushing hard to eat lots of veggies, nuts, legumes, lean meats and fish. But I still want cake so I am human.

Do I fall off the wagon? You bet! But only for a moment. Every hour of the day is a new chance to do what I need to do for my body. The only body I will ever have. My hope is to keep it fit enough to enjoy this beautiful life I have been given.

So what's my new challenge? I am starting a seven-week boot camp this week that will be a major challenge. I did this boot camp a little over a year ago and it was intense. But I learned so many important lessons and I want a refresher. Things in health and fitness change all the time and I like to be on top of it. So stay tuned! I'll be sharing more on my journey through a collaboration with fellow bloggers as they also embark on their own new challenges in fitness adventures. Hint, Ball Room Dancing Anyone?

Thanks for stopping by!

Peace!

Linking fun options for you. I think I need that active wear dress and sneakers. Obsessed! I have a few of these dresses and they are so nice for summer!

email updates

If  you aren't signed up for email updates please do so! I have been adding elements to these updates that are fun and I think you will like! You only get an email when a brand new blog post goes live. Click here to sign up.

boutique info

Just an FYI about my boutique. I usually post my outfits in the boutique in advance of  a new post going live and sometimes post extra outfits that I think you will like. So check it out daily if you want spring and summer style inspiration. Its under the shopping tab up top!

other link ups

I'm proud to participate in the following link ups and am always looking for more! I love to start my day checking in with them and seeing what everyone is doing and connecting!I hope you will join us HERE!


Use the share buttons below to share, pin & like. It's so easy, just one click and that's it!

And I always look forward to your comments!

What's For Dinner?

Cooking With Cheryl

Easy Healhty Meals

Hey foodie friends! I'm so glad you have been popping by on the weekends and joining me in my kitchen.  I so wish we were all sitting together with a cup of coffee! 

This week's recipe was totally made up and it turned out so good. I am finding I create more of my dinners lately as I try to keep them tasty and healthy!

Ingredients for the meal serving two:

  • Aidell Chicken and Pineapple Sausages
  • Sweet Kale Salad Kit
  • Black Rice
  • Olive Oil
  • Coarse Sea Salt
  • Fresh Cracked Black Pepper

The Sweet Kale Salad Kit (made up of broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale and several more things like that is something that I eat in one form or another at least three nights a week. I love them fresh as a salad and I love to roast them as in this meal.  I also get these amazing chicken sausages at Costco but you can find both these items in most grocery stores. The sausage brand is Aidells. The sausages are organic and preservative free and they come in lots of flavors, like the one I am using (chicken and pineapple), chicken and apple, etc. As a fun side, another favorite of mine is black rice. It is such a pretty color on the plate and it has an amazing earthy flavor. 

Food plated in a bright dish

always makes it even more appealing.

The salad mix comes with a package of dried cranberries and sunflower seeds. I toss them on a sheet pan with the veggies lightly coating it all with olive oil, coarse sea salt and cracked black pepper. I roast them in a 400 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes turning them half way through.

I love to set a table!

For this meal we ate at our kitchen island for a casual dinner. 

Preparing Sausages: I sliced the sausages in diagonal shapes and put them on a lightly oiled sheet pan covered in foil (easy cleanup). I peppered them only. They are precooked so they only need to go into the oven a few minutes. I did about 15 minutes a 400 degree preheated oven, turning half way through because I love the lightly browned look and flavor.

Now for the rice. For two of us I use a half a cup of rice with a cup of water. I rinse the rice first then put it all in a pan and bring to a boil. Then I turn it down to low, cover and simmer for 30 minutes. This rice takes longer to cook that white.

And that is it! Boom dinner is served and it only takes about 30 minutes to make. 

Thanks for stopping by!

Peace!

email updates

If  you aren't signed up for email updates please do so! I have been adding elements to these updates that are fun and only available to those who are on the mailing list. You only get an email when a brand new blog post goes live. Click here to sign up.

boutique info

Just an FYI about my boutique. I usually post my outfits in the boutique in advance of  a new post going live and sometimes post extra outfits that I think you will like. So check it out daily if you want spring and summer style inspiration. Its under the shopping tab up top!


Use the share buttons below to share, pin & like. It's so easy, just one click and that's it!

And I always look forward to your comments!

Healthy Sheet Pan Meals for Entertaining

welcome to my kitchen

A special place of creativity and joy!

To me, cooking for family and friends is how I show my love. 

Last Saturday night we had friends over for dinner. There were six of us all together. I wanted to have something delicious, healthy and easy so we could all enjoy our evening. So I decided on a sheet pan meal.

It was so simple because I could do almost everything ahead of time. Thirty minutes before time to eat I just popped things into the ovens. The asparagus went in 15 minutes before time to eat because they didn't need as much time in the oven. 

To prep I just seasoned the chicken breasts, chopped up the veggies or bundled them up and tossed in olive oil, course sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper and put them in a 400 degree oven for about 30 minutes. 

For the tomatillo salsa (sheet pan 3 below) I roasted garlic, tomatillos, red onion and pasilla peppers, then I put them in a blender and blended to preferred consistency and viola! Perfect sauce for the amazing roasted chicken. 

Below is everything ready to go into the oven.

yes

I wear aprons often!

I am a apron collector. I have even made several over the years. I love them because you can dress for dinner and not worry about messing up your outfit. They are cute and fuctional!

I made this dessert and we ate the whole thing! I used this recipe, one of my favorites but changed it up a little. Instead of graham cracker crust I used ginger snaps because I love ginger and lemon flavors together. I used Meyer lemons rather than plain lemons just to give it a more intense flavor. I also topped with blueberries to give it additional flavor and color which the recipe did not call for. And the final step? While everyone was standing around, I whipped fresh whipped cream to top it. Boom! 

setting the table

The most fun part of entertaining!

You get to go way outside the box creatively! 

This was a casual dinner party. Everyone hung out in the kitchen and we used our kitchen table to eat at. I love a fun table setting which you can see above. No one was a drinker so I made a Very Berry iced tea (recipe here) that everyone enjoyed along with fresh coffee for the pie.

This party was a little different because I am a dog lover and so are all our friends. So everyone brought their dogs and they all ran through the house playing and entertaining us the whole evening! There were five dogs all together! I wish I could have gotten a picture of them all together but they were too busy to sit for one!

Thanks for stopping by!

Peace!


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Creative Healthy Cooking

Baked Cod on a bed of

roasted-garlic, sun-dried tomato mashed cauliflower with roasted yams and napa cabbage.

I have cooked for so many years and learned almost every time I made something, a new tip, trick or way to love food. This is a recipe I made up one night after seeing a few inspirational pictures of healthy meals. I am like most people, always trying to up my healthy lifestyle game. Cooking healthy but creatively adds so many dimensions to a rich life. It incorporates my creative side, healthy but delicious food for sustenance but also time spent learning and thinking about what my body needs physically and emotionally. And really, if you can think outside the box, anyone can do this.

Recipe

Ingredients for two:

Cod portions (I used frozen but fresh would be great)- 2

Cauliflower- 1/2 head

Napa Cabbage- 1/2 head sliced lengthwise in half

Yam or Sweet Potato- 1

Fresh Garlic-4 to 5 cloves

Fresh Rosemary- 2 springs

Sundried Tomatoes-2 tablespoons

Olive Oil-as needed

Fresh Cracked Black Pepper-as needed

Course Sea Salt-as needed

Red Pepper Flakes- 1 tablespoon

Garlic Powder- 1 tablespoon

Italian Seasoning- 1 tablespoon

Chicken broth-as needed but at most 1/4 cup

First, Roast all the veggies

Toss course chopped cauliflower, potato of your choice, garlic left in skins in olive oil and place on a sheet pan. (Tip: I always cover the pan with tin foil for easy clean up). Sprinkle liberally with course sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper. Then pop into a 400 degree oven for up to 30 minutes turning it over half way through. Check every ten minutes in case it gets done faster. 

 

You are looking for a nice lightly browned vegetable like in the picture below. Place the cauliflower, garlic, sun dried tomatoes and finely chopped rosemary in a Cuisinart. Make sure at this point you took the garlic out of its skin. Add a little vegetable or chicken broth 1/8 to 1/4 cup to blend it to a thick smooth consistency. Cover to keep warm while you prepare the rest of the meal. Set the potatoes aside to keep warm too. I use my warming oven. 

Next coat your fish with olive oil and seasonings. I use garlic powder, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper on both sides. But you can use the seasonings you love. Use the same pan that you used for the other veggies for less clean up. Pop into a 400 degree oven for around 20 minutes turning half way through.

Also at the halfway point of cooking your fish add you wedges of Napa cabbage that is lightly coated in olive oil, sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper. It will turn light brown too. Perfecto!

Presentation is so important!

It makes you look like you know what you are doing! Use pretty dishes that show off your meal. They don't need to match either, it is fun to use different tableware to add interest to a meal.

When your fish is done, it's time to build. Put your mashed cauliflower down for a bed. No need to be perfect, rustic is fun. Then place your potatoes and cabbage on and finally top it with your gorgeous fish! Garnish with a wedge of lime and more rosemary or cilantro.

Before serving, warm your plates. You can put them in your warmer, run them under hot water or set in your oven for a couple of minutes while it is still warm (if they are oven proof). 

Bon Apitite!

Linking up some of the things I use so often. My dishes are several years old from Costco but I found some that look identical at Walmart. 

IMG_4093.JPG

Thanks for stopping by!

Peace!

P.S. If you have questions feel free to ask. I am not expert at writing recipes as you can tell ! Ha ha!


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YouTube + Scissors =Bangs

YouTube + scissors = Bangs!

I have always been risky with my hair. Coloring it myself, perms way back when and yes I even have cut it if I am inspired.

As I have grown older I am a little more reserved when a whim to make a change takes over. But last weekend I was totally bored. Note: My mom always said only stupid people got bored so lets not tell her.  Ha ha! Anyhow, I started watching YouTube videos, my newest obsession. I watched a video on hair trends for 2018 and learned the number one trend was going to be fringe also called bangs. Also known as the "french facelift." I thought, I could use a lift!

Hmmmm. Well I was in Arizona and my stylist was in Idaho so I had a problem. First, I am not a patient person and second, I have a laissez-faire attitude most of the time. I remembered some disasters by my own hands but the thought whatever, it will grow back. So I proceeded to watch several videos on cutting your own bangs. I checked to see what style bangs would work for my face shape and exactly how to cut them the way I wanted. Then I walked into the bathroom and did everything I was instructed and boom, here I am. 

I will have to train my hair to stay parted in the middle and my bangs to hang straight but I also sort of like the messy effect right now. I then watched videos on all sorts of ways to style your hair with bangs and I am so excited to play around with them this spring. Think up-dos, scarves and more!  I'll have my stylist clean it up a little but I think this is fun for a spring change.

Speaking of my stylist, she will probably faint when she sees my DIY haircolor that I have been playing with. But I am sure she can whip it back to pre-me and my YouTube days. 

Bangs seem so retro.

The hair style I was going for was the iconic brow length bangs combined with overall long hair made popular in the 1970s by the English actress and singer Jane Birkin. For more details on the history of bangs go here.

I wanted to share my new hair style with you but also wanted to show you these fun earrings. Baublebar has really fun jewelry and now you can by this brand at target! I got these fun earrings along with several other bright colored ones for spring and summer. 

As for my outfit since I was feeling retro I wore my bell bottoms and a black front tie tee and platform shoes. I tied a white knit jacket around my waist and carried my leopard clutch to complete this look.

Linking up my Express jeans, Ted Baker platform shoes and my Clare V. clutch along with fun options for creating your own look!

Thanks for stopping by Gang!

Peace!

pinterest group board

We've all been hearing about using Pinterest to help grow our followings by getting our work out there and I have been taking classes and learning more about using my favorite form of social media. And now I'm inviting you to join my group board titled Style Wise. Check it out here. It was created just a couple of months ago and needs some more inspiration so if you are a fashion and style blogger and would like to be a contributor let me know in the comments section of this post or by sending an email to northwestmountainliving@gmail.com or you can DM me @northwestmountainliving.


other link ups

I'm proud to participate in the following link ups and am always looking for more! I love to start my day checking in with them and seeing what everyone is doing and connecting!I hope you will join us HERE!


Use the share buttons below to share, pin & like. It's so easy, just one click and that's it!

My Healthy Lifestyle Update

Healthy Lifestyle Update

Healthy Lifestyle Update

the scoop

Exercise: I have been slacking a bit on the health front. My main focus this last month has been getting back into running shape. I am in week four of my training and moving right along. This past week I was able to add hikes on the days I don't run so that is a  positive. I feel I will be in 5K condition for my goal date in April. Starting over hasn't been fun but knowing I can come back from injury has made me so grateful. My routine right now is to run every other day and hiking every other day with what I call yoga stretching everyday. It is a group of simple yoga moves I do that stretch and strengthen my muscles. 

Eating: I am not having trouble with intermittent fasting, as a matter of fact I enjoy it. I don't eat after 7 PM and then not again until 11 AM or noon. The problem I am having is what I am eating. I am doing about 50/50 rather than the 80/20 that I prefer. So my goal right now is to work on healthier choices. I seriously have been having cinnamon rolls, burgers, french fries and pizza way too often. Eating well doesn't mean I have to give up anything, I just eat whole, fresh foods. Nothing processed or from restaurants. I eat my cooking which I know if full of healthy oils, grains, fruits and lean meats. Luckily those are the types of foods I love. 

One of my favorite recipes right now is Brussels Sprouts Salad. I do several variations on this salad.  Sometimes I add a piece of roasted chicken on the side but most of the time it is a meal in itself for me. Fruit is my go to for desert and assorted nuts are my favorite snack. Only a small handful of nuts because they pack lots of calories but I find them filling and tasty.  I love eggs and sourdough bread ( I've been reading that it is the best bread to eat if you want bread) toast for breakfast ( usually around noon) and always use real butter with organic jam that does not have sugar or high fructose corn syrup. Many days I have avocado toast which I love. I always use a very high quality olive oil for everything. Anyway these are just some of my ways of eating healthy.

my outfit

I like to put on my active wear first thing in the morning to remind me to stay on track. Layering for cooler weather is key. Being able to add on or remove as needed while working out keeps my comfort level where I spend my time thinking about my workout not that I am too hot or too cold. I have on leggings, a thermal top and a puffer vest. I can take off the vest if I need to or I can even take off the thermal top and wear my vest as a top. This is all stylish and functional.

These pictures were taken while I was still in the Idaho mountains. Here in Arizona is it much warmer and I mostly wear leggings and tanks or even shorts if I exercise late in the day (as seen in last picture below). All my exercise is done outdoors except for my yoga stretching.

create your look

Below are some really fun options for creating your own look.

Healthy Lifestyle Update

Healthy Lifestyle Update

Healthy Lifestyle Update

Healthy Lifestyle Update

Healthy Lifestyle Update

Healthy Lifestyle Update

Healthy Lifestyle Update

Healthy Lifestyle Update

Healthy Lifestyle Update

Healthy Lifestyle Update

More options for Activewear linked below!

Make sure to check out my Boutique under the shop tab up top.

As always thanks for stopping by!

Peace!


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How I Wear Magnetic Eyelashes

How I Wear Magnetic Eyelashes on Northwest Mountain Living & Style

How I Wear Magnetic Eyelashes on Northwest Mountain Living & Style

create your look

Read more about my Magnetic Eyelashes here below. Every thing is old in my look but the Sam Edelman shoes here (42% off) Score! My top is from the Loft last year very similar here,  jeans so old I don't know where I go them but I did DIY the frayed hem similar here. Same belt here. Bag also last year. 

the scoop

These pictures were taken late in the evening for a night out. I had just freshened up my make up so it was a bit heavier than normal for me but I wanted to try out my new magnetic eyelashes!

I got the smallest size called Accent and they added big time volume and length. I was amazed! I love them, they are easy to use and come off easy without any discomfort. I had on mascara before I put them on but next time I may skip that on the top lashes because these add so much lash. These made my eyes just about jump off my face! I didn't have eye shadow on and these lashes gave me a smokey eye look which was fun. I decided I would only use them for night time and photos because my natural lashes are kind of thick and these make them stand out too much for a casual day look.

53092296.jpg

The brand I am using is Ardell here and this is not a paid review. The picture above is the Double Wispies, I am wearing the Accent Wispies like in the link.  I got mine at Walgreen's but you can get them at drugs stores, Target, Walmart, Beauty stores and online.  Here are some tips I learned while trying them out.

1. They come in three sizes. Accent (I am wearing), Demi and and Double Wispies. The Accent are the smallest set and don't look like much in the package but add a ton of volume and length. I have the Demi also because I wanted to compare the sizes but I will return them because they added too much lash for my eyes. 

2. Each set is for top lashes only but have two pieces a top and bottom.

3. You have to play around with them some to get them right. But once you get it, it is easy. 

4. They are stuck to the package so gently pull them out or you can pull out some of the lashes.

5. Keep the left eye and right eye separate they look a lot alike but are different. 

6. The end of the lash that is the longest goes on the outside of your eye and the thickest lash is the lower part of the set. That was counter intuitive to me. 

These cost me about $13.00 for one set but I know the price varies. But they are still very affordable since they are reusable as long as you take care of them. Compare the price and ease of use to the glue on kind or those you get in a salon and it a big difference. 

my outfit 

This outfit is simple because the heels are the star of the show. Jeans, and a white button down along with my Mexican Fire opal necklace, large hoop earrings and wicker bag were the accents. One little detail I added is the fun belt in lots of soft lavender , blue and purple colors. I mean what goes better with orange than purple, right? I am seeing a lot of patterned belts and really like the look so I am sure this one will be on repeat. 

i won

I am big time excited today! I entered a give away on TanyaFoster.com blog and won a GiGi New York bag! Seriously gang, I never win things! She said she will ship it this week and I can't wait. It is a cross body in the lovely color of Mulberry, a shade of the Pantone color of the year. Woot! Woot!  I'll show you as soon it comes! Meanwhile, check out Tanya's blog if you haven't already, she is so stylish and fun!

And stay tune to my blog because I will be running a give away worth $400+ the week of February 5-9, 2018. There will be gift certificates to Adrian Allen Shoes, Lilla Rose Hair Accessories, Natalie Attired and RoC Skin Care!

How I Wear Magnetic Eyelashes on Northwest Mountain Living & Style

How I Wear Magnetic Eyelashes on Northwest Mountain Living & Style

How I Wear Magnetic Eyelashes on Northwest Mountain Living & Style

How I Wear Magnetic Eyelashes on Northwest Mountain Living & Style

How I Wear Magnetic Eyelashes on Northwest Mountain Living & Style

How I Wear Magnetic Eyelashes on Northwest Mountain Living & Style

How I Wear Magnetic Eyelashes on Northwest Mountain Living & Style

How I Wear Magnetic Eyelashes on Northwest Mountain Living & Style

How I Wear Magnetic Eyelashes on Northwest Mountain Living & Style

How I Wear Magnetic Eyelashes on Northwest Mountain Living & Style

How I Wear Magnetic Eyelashes on Northwest Mountain Living & Style

How I Wear Magnetic Eyelashes on Northwest Mountain Living & Style

Make sure to check out my Boutique under the shop tab up top.

As always thanks for stopping by!

Peace!