Monday, June 30, 2014

Jaxtastic Life Book Club – Thrive by Arianna Huffington – Week 1 – Introduction

Today, the week of the Independence Day Holiday, we kick off the very first Jaxtastic Life Virtual Book Club with Arianna Huffington’s Thrive: The Third Metric to Defining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder.

Don’t worry if you haven’t started reading. You can start now. These questions/topics will be available to you all week and through the end of the book. You are always welcome to respond, share your insights and ask more questions.

Let’s get going….

The Power of Wake-Up Calls & The Three-Legged Stool

The author shares about her impactful wake-up call waking up in a pool of her own blood with a cut eye and a broken cheekbone due to exhaustion and lack of sleep. She, like so many others, was focused on the generally accepted measures of success: Money and Power...the proverbial two-legged stool that it was just a matter of time before she “toppled over.”

Do you measure your success only by money and power? How is that working for you?
Have you endured your own personal wake-up call? What happened? What has changed? Has anything changed? Why or Why Not?

Controlling the Clicker
“Darling, just change the channel. You are in control of the clicker. Don’t replay the bad, scary movie.” This fabulous quote came from the author’s mother.
Do you find yourself replaying the same argument or frustrations or injustices over and over again in your head? Can you let them go? Why? Why not?

The Third Metric
The Third Metric or the third leg of the “stool of success” and the organizational structure of this book is introduced.
How would you rate yourself in the areas of well-being, wisdom, wonder and giving?
Are you excited or skeptical about taking on these four areas of your life?

Independence Day Declarations – What Are Yours?

This Friday is our country’s Independence Day.

Will you free yourself from the unsustainable “2 legged-stool” measure of success?

Will you declare to Thrive?

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Jax Adventures to Indoor Cycling Certification

This is my home for the next 9 hours for Schwin Indoor Cycling Certification ( at UC Irvine ARC (

So very excited and my fellow students are super nice. (Yes, I'm in the front row and I'm SO not front row person but gotta get the learning.)

Here are my materials. Lots of good stuff for the brain. The bike is for the body.

Finished the first lecture and practice of quick fit and a high-performance fit. As I was putting my shoes back on, I noticed this...Whoopsie!!!

Lectures & 2 challenging (well, challenging to me) rides & an exam and I was officially certified!!!

HUGE thanks to Doris Thews ( for your excellence today!!! I learned so much.

Now...the hard work begins. 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Join the Jaxtastic Life Virtual Book Club!!!

On June 30th, the Jaxtastic Life Virtual Book Club will launch.

Thrive by Arianna Huffington will be the first book we virtually discuss.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Culinary Challenge - Homemade Ice Cream - Check!

Holday weekends bring an opportunity to try something new and this one is no different.

Today, I finally took on homemade ice cream. I say,"finally" because I purchased the Kitchen Aid ice cream accessory years ago. And, it has been in my freezer for years.

While at Trader Joe's today, I pulled up this Martha Stewart custard vanilla ice cream base recipe:

And, I proceeded to fill the cart with the needed ingredients.

After lunch, I got started and all went well. Below is the base chilling.

As the ice cream was churning I was dreaming of the add-ins...chocolate, peanut butter more....

I split the ice cream into 3 containers: 2 plain and one with dark chocolate chunks and peanut butter and got them into he freezer.

A few hours later we dove in. Still a little soft but oh so tasty.

Are you taking on any culinary challenges this weekend? 

Red Scarf Project - Baby Steps Back to Crochet

I have to be very careful on holiday weekends. My mind goes crazy thinking of all the things I can accomplish with a long holiday weekend. So far, I've been keeping things in check his holiday weekend. (Ok, I made ice cream today but that is another blog post.)

Lately, I've been thinking about crochet. It's something that I have enjoyed but I've been away from it for quite a while. 

Today, I wanted to kick off a project. I was all over the place. Make a blanket? Hat? Attempt a sweater for the first time? 

My mind then went to crocheting for a cause. I thought of a prayer shawl. As I was looking at yarn I was continuously drawn to red yarns. 

Then it hit me! The Red Scarf Project for Foster Care to Success:

It's the perfect project. It's compact so I can easily take it on the train. It has a deadline, scarves have to be sent in between September 1 & December 15. 

The yarn has been ordered and I am so excited to return to a favorite hobby and to do it for a good cause.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Unexpected "Ah Ha" Moment While Gushing About Cooking Shows

Today, at a work event, we were sharing about a recent TV viewing experience. I was gushing about how much I love cooking shows and that my current favorites are

Tricia Yearwood's Southern Kitchen

The Pioneeer Woman

I then found myself sharing that I love watching these shows because I don't have a lot of time to cook in my schedule. By watching these shows I am living vicariously through them as they cook amazingly yummy looking food.

Then the "Ah Ha" moment struck. I realized that I watch 1 or 2 recorded episodes a night which accounts for 20-40 minutes of my evening. If I took back that 20-40 minutes, I could actually do some cooking in my own kitchen. Go figure???!!!

Or, even more importantly, I could actually meditate as I have been trying to do ever since I started reading Search Inside Yourself through my Virtualy Book Club at work. I finished reading the book last night and I haven't been able to make a meditatino practice stick.

Tricia and Ree will have to say in the DVR the rest of this week. I'm going to cook and meditate. 

And I'm going to keep talking. Wonder what else will reveal itself.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Nutella Mini Cups - Instant Portion Control

Let me start off by sharing that I love Nutella. Unfortunately, I love Nutella WAY too much.

In the past I have innocently purchased a jar thinking, ah, this will last forever. I'll just enjoy occasionally.

Before I know it, the occasionally becomes multiple times a day.

At Target, I usually pass the "Nutella aisle" and with a sadness because I can't trust myself with even a small jar.

On a recent Target run, my joy turned to hope. I saw Nutella mini cups. I stopped in my tracks. Could this be too good to be true? I grabbed one of the boxes and pulled out my iPhone to do the Weight Watchers Points Plus math. Much to my joy and surprise, one cup is only 2 Points Plus (80 calories) and the Nutella was pre-measured.

Yes, some would argue that I'm wasting money. However, I would tell them that now I'm not eating 1/4 of a jar of Nutella before coming to my senses and puting the spoon down.

And that, my friends, is worth EVERY penny.

Thank you team Nutella!!!!