Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Happy Happy Happy Happy -Duck Commander

 every morning, every day.

Hello all,

The Duck Commander (Phil, Duck Dynasty) is known for his saying of "happy happy happy happy"(not sure how many happies are in there). He says it even when the situation is clearly not a desirable one. I believe by approaching life with this type of positive attitude you get more out of it. I had someone say to be the other day, your life looks like one big vacation. I had to laugh because a couple years ago I would have said are you kidding me! Today I see it because it is how I look at life. By the grace of God and hard work we are able to have lots of happiness and love in our lives.

As you know I started the #100dayshappy challenge back in spring. I am happy to report that I finished my challenge last week. Day 100 happen to fall on our god daughter's birthday. She is very important to us and we love her dearly so it was perfect! I completed 93 days of happy out of 100. Not to bad, it was hard a first to find something each day because somethings were trivial. Then I remembered the little things matter too, and sometimes they matter more. I have noticed a positive change in our home as well as in my attitude. Listen, I am not saying we are perfect...by any means...but I do believe you get what you put into things. If you continue to feel sorry for yourself, look at what others have, or are just a negative Nancy attitude you are wasting your time on this earth. If you are that person, I say to you,...get it together...life is too short. 

This challenge has assisted a positive change for me so I plan to keep the challenge going....#365dayshappy...why not? The way I look at it at the end of the year I will have a wonderful photo album to look at. 


Monday, June 30, 2014

Round II #21dayfix Results: Inches matter

Hi friends, 

As promised I said I would report on my second round results for #21dayfix. Today's blog will talk about the changes I have gone through from the beginning of the year until now.  I started this healthy living journey about 6 years ago when I started working at the Cleveland Clinic. I have learned so much about fitness and clean eating through this experience. )There are other areas I need to improve upon but one day at a time). Regarding fitness I have gone up and down in weight throughout my entire life. My goal is to be comfortable in what I wear and how I feel about myself. If I don't have that, it is time to make changes. I am hoping this new program will stop the constant roller coaster ride I have been on since puberty. So far it is looking good!

So true!!

I did my measurements this morning for the second round of #21dayfix. I lost 3.75 inches overall. I was on point with my workouts, except for the week I was sick. My nutrition was average, at best. If I was following the meal plan more efficiently I would have much better results. You get what you put into it, bottom line. Below are the results from first round to second round and the total inches I have lost since March....when I started Shakeology and #21dayfix.


Inches lost from First Round to Second Round:

Waist: lost 1.5 inches
Hips: lost 1 inch
Thighs: lost 1.5 inches
Arms: gained .25 inches (muscle gain)

Inches lost from March 2014 to June 2014
Waist: lost 2 inches
Hips: lost 4 inches
Thighs: lost 2 inches
Arms: gained .25 inches (muscle gain)
Bust: lost 2 inches 

Overall, since March, I have lost 9.75 inches overall. I am not quite ready to post my before and after pictures. When I have lost a few more inches I may be able to have the guts to do so. If you are interested in the program, I am here to help. Comment below. 

Monday, June 23, 2014

Fennell Summer Bucket List

Hi friends, 

My wonderful friend Mindy gave me the idea to start a summer bucket list, although we already accomplished some of our items, I thought...why not share and do this for other seasons. This idea would be great for the winter. Seeing as how winter was 8 months this year of indoor activities last year, this year's could get interesting to say the least. 

1. Drive In Movie
2. Camp (Done)

3. Go to Put In Pay (Done)

4. Go to Kelly's Island (Done)

5. Boat to new areas near Sandusky
6. Get a tan (Done)
7. See a Meteor Shower (attempted and failed-we fell asleep)
8. Go Fishing
9. Cookout once a week (So far so good)
10. Zipline 
11. Go to a concert (See you in August Luke Bryan)
12. Go to Cedar Point
13. Go Hiking 
14. Go to a Carnival 
15. Lay on Beach
16. Run a 10K
17. Go golfing
18. Have a bonefire (Done)
19. Go to an Indians game (attempted and it was cancelled..try again)
20. Messy Twister - play with paint/colored shaving cream on the dots
21. Remake Old Photos - do your best impersonation of your old self or with friends or family
22. Art Museum
23. Botanical Gardens
24. Go to Oak Barrel
25. Finish up some of my crafts
26. Sell our house
27. Float on a raft allllll day (Done)
28. Girls Night/Weekend (Done)
29. Read two books (almost there)
30. Attempt Hot Yoga
31. Complete all the workouts for 21 day fix in 7 days

32. Make a smore (Done)

33. Complete ab challenge
34. Go to Marblehead Lighthouse

35. Barge Party
What is on your summer bucket list!! 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Easy Healthy Chicken Recipes: Works with 21 Day Fix

21 day fix is going well. The weekend was a little rough but I was able to get my workouts in and I have lost a few inches throughout. I will post the final results at the end of the 21 days. 

I wanted to share some recipes I have tried out that are pretty good. I am not a fan of chicken but I know it is good for me sooooo I am trying to find inventful ways of cooking it. 

Spicy Hawaiian Chicken Burgers

I got the recipe from a blog called The Girl Who Eats Everything.  I made this a little more healthy and 21 day fix approved by using a wheat bun, adding hot sauce to the burgers (just a couple dashes), and cutting the portion to meet the required amounts for the program. The recipe offered good flavor and the burgers stayed together without breadcrumbs or eggs. The link is below for the full recipe. 


Miles Framers Market Chicken

Ok, this is the easiest recipe ever! A friend of mine made this one night. My husband and I both loved it. I tried to do the same and it didn't taste right...I said what am I doing wrong? She said the secret is to get the chicken from Miles Framers Market (Solon, OH)! Holy crap  she was right! We have been doing this most of the summer as it is easy and both my husband and I love it. You can get any chicken from Miles. I have done this with chicken breasts, bone in chicken, whatever...just season with sea salt/kosher salt (just a little), pepper (add to taste) and fresh lemon juice (one whole lemon). Grill it or bake it at 350*F for 45 minutes. So juicy and delicious! I don't think it needs any sauce but sometimes if we want a little extra flavor Jason, my husband, uses Sweet Baby Rays BBQ sauce or our homemade sauce, for 21 day fix I use hot sauce, again just a couple of dashes. 

Enjoy! More to come in the following weeks. 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Happiness Is a Choice

Hi friends,

#100dayshappy is going well! I am on day 71...it has been a positive challenge. This year has been unexpected to say the least. Although I have to say the last 5 years have been full of unexpected events. I have seen myself take on quite a bit but through the grace of God and surrounding myself with amazing people, who I have learned a lot from, it has been with a lot of blessings. This year I started the #100dayshappy challenge to stay in a positive mindset. Also I will have a scrapbook at the end of it! Honestly, we should have this mindset daily but let's face it....life happens. Sometimes you need a reminder. With that being said...I decided to share some of my favorite "happy days" on the blog today. I really couldn't ask for better friends and family.

Day 12 (4/14/14); This pic makes me smile

Day 17 (4/19/2014): Me and my beautiful niece Ellie

Day 22: (4/24/2014): From our Monday surprise visit

@mags3307 @jfennell55us #100daysofhappy #day30

God is truly amazing!! My brother did his first lead tonight, which in the AA program is a big deal!! My brother never ceases to amaze me-in a good way-not only was he completely honest and inspirational he gave the glory to God with where he is today!! An answered pray for me, my mom, and many of our friends and family. HUGE PTL!! You have set the bar my best friend, keep up the great work and know we love you more than words can explain!!!#100dayshappy #day35

Afternoon run after boat prep

Relaxing #100dayshappy #day52

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

21 Day Fix-Round II

Hi friends, 

Long time no talk, hopefully with my schedule calming down over the summer I will have more time to blog!

Well my fitness journey has been good so far since January. I have lost a total of 10lbs and 5 inches, slowly...it started to speed up when I completed the 21 day fix and started Shakeology. I didn't take before and after pics for the first round but I plan to for this round. I want to reach my second fitness goal but it seems to be getting harder and harder, especially with summer here.  So in order to keep myself accountable I will be blogging this experience. 

Day 1 was yesterday, I finished up under my calorie intake but I didn't have time to workout. I have Zumba today for a charity event so that will be using that as my cardio. I am being more strict with the diet this time around and improvising the workouts based on my schedule. The idea is to get 6 workouts in a week. I am hoping to end the night with upper fix (part of 21 day fix). If anyone would like to take this challenge with me that already has 21 day fix or wants to buy it please comment below. Also iPhones have an app to count your portions for $1.99 and droids have 3 different ones for free.

I plan to share some of the meals I prep, and workouts or supplement workouts throughout the 21 days. My 21 days are up on June 29. Today I am sharing weight charts, these are a little better than just BMI. Weight doesn't always matter when you are completely toned, so you don't have to use the weight charts or scales, you can do measurements too. I will be doing both. Honestly I prefer measurements because I don't care what the scale says it matters if I am getting fit and staying healthy. So this is your call on how you want to measure your changes but you should use at least one of them. See weight charts below on where you should be. This will help you set your fitness goals. 

*These images are courtesy of my beach body coach-Lena Hayes

First measure your frame....

Second match your frame with your height...that's your goal 

Friday, April 11, 2014

Back to Blogging!!!

Finally back to blogging! The the start of the year was a not what we were expecting, to say the least! I noticed it was a lot of sadness, heart ache, and stress. Although we still had blessings coming our way, and wonderful things happening with our friends and family, I could still see the sadness and stress in the people around me as well as myself. We had two family members diagnosed with diseases. Through prayer one is in remission, and the other seems to be adapting okay. We also lost a dear friend on January 28, Brandon. He was one of the happiest people I knew. He always knew how to put a smile on your face, he was positive, and life of every party. I thought to myself, he would want us happy, smiling, having fun, celebrating...living life. Than I noticed my cousin Bethany had been posted pics and was #
100dayshappy. I thought you know what?? I need this, I need to be reminded of all the happiness that is around me, even if I don't feel it all the time. So I started the challenge April 3. I also noticed I wasn't the only one going through this and some of my friends, said hey what is this you are doing?! I explained and sent the link to them. 

Check it out: http://100happydays.com/

I encourage anyone that needs a pick me up or to start looking at the positive in life so try this out. I will post everyday via facebook or instagram but only blog about one or two pics a week. You are welcome to join me in this adventure and/or join the challenge. You in?

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Money Saving Tip and A New Recipe

Hello all, 

Hope your new year is going well. A quick update on my 30 day challenge. The goal was to workout 30 minutes a day, read something inspirational (daily), one selfless act a day, and a 30 day photo challenge. I thought the easiest part would be the photo challenge as I love documenting everything!! However, it was the workout routine, since January 3, 2014 I have worked out a total of 532 minutes. That totals to an average of 29.5 minutes a day...my goal is to average 30 minutes a day, not to shabby! In the area of inspirational readings (daily), I decided to read a daily devotional bible my grandmother and grandfather gave me years ago. It was one of the last things my Grandma Bev gave me before passing away and I am only reading it now. It is going well. I don't have time to read it everyday with school work but I am only a few days behind, and it is has been nice to have me time. If you know me, you know I am constantly on the go....I like it that way but lately our lives have changed so I am enjoying the quiet time. Another great sense of relief has been the gym. Loving my oldie by goodie gym buddies and the new ones that have joined this year! It keeps the motivation going and boat season is only 92 days away. I will post the 30 day photo challenge at the end of the month. Lastly is the selfless acts, this was becoming a challenge as I see the same people Monday through Friday. So in an effort to uphold the challenge we have donated some furniture to family, clothes to City Mission and Laura's Home, and honestly just being kinder to others, even ones that don't treat me the same way. 

For today's blog I wanted to share a money savings tip with all of you and a new recipe. 

How to cut your grocery bill in half! For YEARS my husband has been telling me to shop at Aldi's. I was always apprehensive, kind of one of those...it's to good to be true...type things. Well now my mom and aunt are shopping there and they suggested it as well (I know I listen to my mom, crazy <rolling eyes>). We normally spend $200-250/pay at Giant Eagle or Heiniens and that is with coupons. It was becoming a bit much every month. So we decided to check out Aldi's in Macedonia. One word...SAVINGS! We bought double the food for half the price. My average grocery bill is now $120/pay...that's right it was cut in half! We are able to get meals for lunches, at least 8-10 dinners, snacks, and a few extras (such as dishes to bring to parties). The only thing I would NOT recommend there, is there queso dip, everything else is fresh, well preserved, and cheap. They don't have fresh herbs and or a wide variety of fruit. I recommend getting fresh herbs from the West Side Market (only a buck), or try your local farmers market. I prefer fruit from Farmers Market in Solon, but I am not always able to make it there. Check it out and let me know what you think. I can only recommend the one in Macedonia, I have not tried others. 

So with my new groceries I decided to make a healthy salad I found on Pinterest. I tweaked it a little and I think for the better :) Enjoy!


2 avocados (peeled, pitted, & cubed)
1-2 Steak tomatoes (cubed)
1/2 ball fresh mozzarella (cubed)
1-2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil 
1-2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tsp. basil (dried, but fresh is always an option)
salt & pepper  to taste

Mix together and serve, it is also nice the next day for lunch. It may not look it but it is.  

*I used an image from online because I forgot to take a picture. Copyright image goes to: http://www.chefjenny.com/2012/02/avocado-tomato-mozzarella-salad.html

Thursday, January 9, 2014

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

The 30 day challenge is going well so far, I started this on January 3. In the last 6 days I have taken 4 pictures, done 3 selfless acts and worked out 130 minute. Soooo I am more on track than off track :) 

I wanted to share one of the pictures I put in my 30 day challenge, it is not from January but it is one that means a lot to me. It is a picture of my father in law and I. His name is John, (if you don't know him, I am sure you do because he talks to EVERYONE!!). John has been a great influence in my life over the past 10 years. I have told him this but not enough. He is one of the most selfless people I know. He cares deeply for his family. He is always trying to put others above himself. He babysits the tiny humans and fur babies of the family at the drop of a hat, he wants people to have a good time and will make sure of it. He is there for all his kids and their wives, if even just to listen to them complain or vent. He is a peacemaker, if there is drama on the horizon he is putting out the fires. He has a blast where ever he is, I took note of this on many of St. Patty's day adventures and PIB extrusions. If we need a ride anywhere he is willing to play DD. I know people say they have the best dad or FIL but I have to say John Fennell takes the cake in the FIL department. He has been more of a father figure to me than I could ever ask for. Love you John! 

Thursday, January 2, 2014

30 challenges for 30 days: Which ones would you choose?

Happy New Year! Hope everyone had a great New Year's day. We spent our first day of the new year with friends and family! The nice thing about our friends is they are family and our family is also our friends, well the ones that still communicate are haha. Its cheesy but it is the truth. I have said this for years. There is not a group like my No I will not be doing 30 challenges in 30 days but two of my aunts posted an article on Facebook last night about making new habits. I always like a challenge so I accepted this one. Here is the link to the article naming all the challenges.


I decided to pick 4 challenges for the month of January. If I make it through all of these I will start 3-4 more in February...lets hope I can.

Every morning, watch or read something that inspires you. – Sometimes all you need is a little pep talk. For the next 30 days, before you eat breakfast, or leave the house, watch a motivational video or read something (quotation, blog post, short story, etc.) that inspires you.
    • This morning it was a bible scripture, 1 Corinthians 13:2 KJV: And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. To my understanding this means although you can have all aspects of Christianity down if you don't give back to others you have nothing. Even if you don't have a lot of money you can donate your time and compassion. You would be surprised how much it means to someone to just listen, or volunteer at shelter, or clean your closet out every month and donate to city mission, rehab centers, etc. If you have more....give it, you can't take it with you. A usually prayer over any donation that it is well received and goes to those in need.
Document every day with one photograph and one paragraph.– For 30 days bring a camera with you wherever you go. Do your best to take one photograph that represents a standout experience from each day. Then, before you go to bed each night, write one paragraph in a notebook or journal that highlights your day. If you do it all digitally you can unite your daily photograph and paragraph in one digital space (like a personal blog), which can be easily reviewed in the future.

    • There were two items from yesterday that I wanted to share for today. One was a video of my niece playing peek a boo with a jewelry catalog, and the other is a picture of a pair of slippers. It is not so much what is going on in the video or the image itself but the meaning of the two. It is our family spending time together, giving to each other, and loving one another. No matter how crazy it can get we all truly care and love one another. The slippers were a gift, its small act of kindness but the person that gave them to me has been through a lot this year, and through her difficult time she still finds time to think of others. She is a true inspiration. These little things remind me to walk in love and think of others.
Perform one selfless act every day. – In life, you get what you put in. When you make a positive impact in someone else’s life, you also make a positive impact in your own life. Do something that’s greater than you, something that helps someone else be happy or suffer less.
    • I made some donations on New Year's Eve in the form of warm clothing. I have not done anything today, but the day is young :)
Exercise for 30 minutes every day for 30 days. – Your health is your life. Don’t let it go. Eat right, exercise and get an annual physical check-up. The 4-Hour Body is an insightful and entertaining read on this topic.

    • Headed to the gym tonight with a friend, hope to get an hour of cardio in. I feel gym buddies make the time go by quicker.
These are excellent challenges and meaningful ones...it doesn't have to be the start of a new year to do so. Which ones would you pick?