Exercise as important as Food or Sleep?

Exercise is at the top of my list of resolutions for 2016. Nothing original about that as it seems to be high in everyone’s list. 

  
But something really clicked in my mind the other day. 

Captain gave me a bit of a lecture how I don’t really do much for myself since I’m always busy taking care of everyone else. And I responded that I now do much more for myself than ever before. I go to the gym regularly and get to spend quality time with him. These are now my outlets.

But he responded that the gym is not “me” time as much as it’s a necessity.

Wha????

  
I never really thought of exercise as important as sleep or food or water

Mind blown.

  
I always felt as if getting to the gym was strictly a way to treat myself. A luxury, of sorts. 

And I used to get pissed as hell that Grayheart made it a top priority for him to exercise while I was at home (fat and bitter) taking care of our kids. He complained that I put my health last. 

Truth be told, I was always so exhausted at the end of a long workday and dealing with the kids that thinking of getting to the gym at 8 or 9 pm was ludicrous. I’d miss out on time with the kids. Plus, who was going to clean the house? And when were we going to have quality time together as a couple? And sleep! Is it any good if you’re going to sleep at midnight? Ugh. All too familiar complaints of families with small children.

  

Perspective shift now.

My kids are now a bit older and don’t require the constant attention they needed as babies or toddlers. I drop them off at the childcare center in the gym and do my routine. And I feel so much better now that I’m thinner and physically strong again. 

  
Happy and healthy mom = Happy family!
So now the real question is… what will I be doing solely for myself?

XO

Amsterdam – Good eats!

This is my second visit to Amsterdam and I continue to love this city so much!

I noticed a slight change in the city since my last visit in 2007, particularly the food scene. There is still an abundance of different ethnic cuisines, but I found a ton of new (what I think of as) “California style” restaurants and really enjoyed them. People tend to give the Dutch a hard time about their food but I love all the options this area has to offer!

So you all already know I basically pac-manned my way through France! Well, do not fret because I was almost as gluttonous in Amsterdam as well!

Here are some fun food pics:

Dutch pancakes – Sweet & Savory!

Cheese, please!

Hot chocolate!

Waffle a la mode complete with Nutella!

Lovely healthy dinner

And then we may have dabbled in some other delicacies while there…

While on the topic of good eats… Found this in a window front of a store! LMAO! Hope there’s no one sensitive reading!

#goorganic

Stay tuned for pics around town!

XO

Athena

I ate my way through Paris

Damn it.

I was warned. 

I was told of the decadent desserts and crusty loaves of bread and creamy cheeses and full bodied wines… And I still was not prepared to handle what came over me when I actually came face to face with these foods (or beverages)!

My senses were on overload! Bakeries are my thing, in general. And to have one on each corner… Nom, nom, nom.

Choux pastries & Eclairs…  

  

Gelato… 

Espresso and all other delicious French roasted coffee…

  

Cheese aplenty…

  

French baguettes, rich jams and marmalades…

  

Bordeaux and Chardonnays…Nutella filled crepes…croissants…macarons…

And that’s not all of everything I tried!  How do the French stay so damn thin?

I’m now in detox mode! 
XO

Dear Austin, TX – I love you

  
I just got back from an amazing several days in Austin, Texas with Captain.  To say I loved Austin and had a phenomenal time is an understatement.   

I’ve never been to a town where there was such an incredible combination of positive characteristics:  the friendliest people, amazing food, outstanding live music, tons of fun outdoorsy things to do, great college campus, youthful and fresh influence, politics… Jeez, where do I stop?! 

  
Austin is unapologetically and proudly bizarre.  I know the slogan “Keep Austin weird” but it’s just too cool to sum it up as weird.  

   

  

  

   
I won’t bore you with extensive details of the trip but I’ll sum it up by saying that we did Sixth and Rainey street, toured UT, went to a comedy club, rode bike around town galore, ate more red meat and drank more beer in those days than I ever thought humanly possible, watched the largest urban bat population take off for their evening search for food, stayed at the gorgeous Driskill hotel, ate and ate more, watched tons of live local music and had a very romantic time with my man.  It was about as perfect as a getaway could get.

    

    
(Pardon my crappy photography skills.)

Austin, I love you!

PS- I’m still in awe that this is my life post Grayheart.  There is hope after divorce, y’all!

Besos!

Nostalgia

Today I feel a bit nostalgic. I’ve been in DC a few days now and have had the pleasure of seeing many old friends and visit some old stomping grounds. The weather is crisp and feels great to breathe in. Food has been phenomenal… I’ve had the opportunity to eat Thai, Chinese, Indian… Yum!

But a part of me is wistful. This is where it all started with Grayheart. It’s reminiscent of happier times and new beginnings and old familiars. I caught my friends up to speed on the divorce. One friend – that knows us both well – shared that although I look wonderful, she sees great sadness in my eyes. (I can’t fool everyone it seems.)

Couple this with my daughter last night crying hysterically over Skype that she was missing me… Well, it didn’t lend itself to a perfect night’s rest.

I still have a few days left here and really am enjoying so much of my trip. But as I’m learning, emotions come in waves. They’re in like the tide and then out again. You never just feel one thing and, boy, are they sneaky! I’m onto them, though, and will just take it in stride today. 😉

Today’s Mantra: Smile and enjoy yourself.

Btw, the image is a picture I took in the Natural History Museum in Nature’s Best Photography Exhibit. This photographer (Antonio Zimbone) won “Power of Nature” with this picture of Mt. Etna in Italy. Thought it properly reflected my emotions these days! Lol! Enjoy!