This side table, and another just like it, were purchased at our local Goodwill for $10 each. They are solid wood and in good shape, other than just looking dark and outdated. 
Using a small mouse sander ( I have a Black & Decker - runs about $40) , some paint stripper I happened to have in my garage, some old yardsticks I picked up at yard sales, one small pint of polyurethane (about $6.50) , I turned these blah tables into something quite fabulous, and right in line with my mid-century modern living room decor! 

I started to try to sand the tables down, but realized that they had quite a bit of old poly stuck on them, so I regrouped, used some paint stripper to get the bulk of the old poly and stain off and then sanded them down to bare wood.... The grain was just so beautiful! ( you could barely see the wood grain on the original table)

I then decided that because I live with boys who love to set cups on wood surfaces with no coasters ( everyone has this same problem, right? Ha!), I would add a few coats of polyurethane for some protection. I went with three very light coats of satin clear poly, making sure to lightly sand with very fine sand paper and wipe down between coats. oh, and I actually waited the suggested 24 hours between coats����. Very unlike me because I'll be honest, patience is not my middle name, just sayin....
I think they turned out gorgeous, What do you think?? I couldn't stop there though,  I had to add a level of quirkiness to them, cuz that how I role. I asked hubby to help me by cutting some old vintage yardsticks I had been picking up at yard sales and local thrift shops......I lined them up like this.....

And I used a pencil to trace along the back of them while in place so my husband could easily cut them using his small jigsaw....I used wood glue to glue them down in place... 

Finished product ended up costing about $35 for 2 tables, oh and a ton of sweat and elbow grease! I live in Florida and it's hot in that messy garage. I loved this project though, because there weren't a ton of expensive tools and supplies needed... The sander and saw were very inexpensive ( I already had them on hand) but even your neighbors or friends would most likely have these basic tools and may let you borrow them, if you are nice.... And they like you......or if you have beer or lemonade to trade.... See where I'm going with that?!!

I love them! I had an old wooden tray that was bright green, so I painted it brown ( using a cheap can of spray paint) and used the yardsticks I had left over for a cute coffee table tray!!! Fun!

So don't be afraid to pick up out dated furniture for cheap, use some elbow grease and turn it into something fabulous!! 
Next DIY project is a china cabinet turned bar... Stay tuned. 

At the age of 40, I can honestly say that I am in the best shape of my adult life. I have finally found the right combination of nutrition and exercise that allows me to maintain, and when I want to lose a couple pounds or increase muscle or tone a bit more, I know just what to tweak to get there. But everyone hasn't hit this point, and I know this because I have so many friends that ask me what my secret is. They tell me they want me to train them, they want to know my "diet" and they want to know how I have so much willpower.

There is not one "diet", there is not one type of workout, and there are definitely no magic pills!! Every person is different, every person's body reacts to food and exercise in a different way. What works for me, may not work for you! But everyone must have a certain amount of motivation and/or willpower to start making the change!
It all starts with motivation for me. I mean really, without motivation, I just wouldn't tie up the old shoelaces and head out for that run while on vacation, I might sleep an extra half hour instaed of getting up to run... you get the point. I can't pinpoint one thing that motivates me, but I can boil it down to a few things.... I like the way I feel when I eat well, I like the way I feel when I fit into my clothes, I like the way I feel when my husband says "nice pipes", lol......And when mama feels good, every one's life is a bit better! Ha! I have found after several years of tweaking what I eat and how I work out, that I am finally at a point where I eat because it is fuel for my body, not for comfort. And when I eat something fried, or super sweet, or just too big of a portion, I physically don't feel well..... I'm not saying I don't indulge, believe me, I do, But I don't do it every day, because it makes me not feel well! I have also learned the right combination of cardio and weights and how many days/minutes my body needs to just maintain.

I have fallen in love with the workouts at a local boot camp facility in my home town. Because of the budget, I only go 3 days a week, and I go religiously on those three days, unless there are family situations that cause me to have to miss. But on the other 4 days, I really do have to make myself throw on my shoes and go for a run. I absolutely love running, don't get me wrong, it's the getting out of bed or braving the FL heat, that is the hard part!..Once I am out there, it is truly my happy place.... I find that it helps if I go early in the AM, recruit a running partner to hold me accountable and have a really good playlist on my phone!

Right now, I have no playlist and my music is all over the place..... My last run skipped from the Celtic Women (very slow) to Alvin and the Chipmunks(don't ask- my kids are now 12 and 14) to country to Motown..... This is just unacceptable. I have been telling myself to make a playlist forever, and I never think about it when I am near my computer...... But my view of the sunrise was spectacular......

So tell me bloggy friends, what motivates you in life? What are your favorite types of workouts? Do you do boot camp, run, yoga?? And most importantly, What are your top 3 workout songs?? Mama needs a good upbeat playlist.... like yesterday!!!!

Happy Running,

This Busyrunningmama has been busy. Not even sure where we left off, but I do know that I had ankle surgery a year ago and have had a long road of rehab, but I'm running again! And still a super busy mom. Thing 1 is almost 15 and playing basketball
and Thing 2 is 12 and is becoming quite the golfer.
Driving them to and from school, sports, and friends houses has become a full time job, oh wait, I have one of those still, so needless to say, life is pure craziness!!! 
I still love to cook, repurpose vintage finds, do all things crafty, and be the best mom, wife, friend, daughter, and sister I can be. I'm going to try to get back to blogging about all of it and see where it goes!
I just finished a super cool redo of some cheap coffee tables I scored at Goodwill for $10!! Post to follow!!! Sneak peek....

I'm only 37!! Not my bedroom needs a facelift!!!
This was my bedroom on Saturday morning............................The walls were chocolate brown and we have loved them for the last 5 years but I decided I was ready for change........ I wanted to brighten it up, make it look and feel bigger..........................

It is our master but it is not that large, 16 x 16, and the dark color, although cozy and warm, sometimes made it feel so dark and small. The furniture is all matchy, matchy from like 8-10 years ago ( which is not my style now) , but its still modern and in great shape and new furniture is not really in the budget, so this will really just be a face lift.... a little paint, linens, curtains....etc

Lets see what my little creative, budget friendly mind can cook up!!!

sneek peek:

That's all you get for now, but I will tell you that I painted the room Lowe's Valspar color Gravity ( a beautiful grey)- 28.87 per gallon Primer + Paint and there was a $5 rebate - needed 2 gallons, soooooo for about $50  it looks like a totally different room. I am loving it!

I just picked up my fabric ( $7 / yard - not too shabby) for my new curtains today and will be sewing  3 panels in the next few nights so u will get a better look at the progress in a few days!

I am really needing some artwork ideas....... I will need several pieces and one to tie the bathroom in with the bedroom so once you see the new room, I will post pics of the adjacent bathroom and I would love to hear your ideas.......More to come soon!!!

BTW, I made it to bootcamp 4 days last week and did 2 short runs!! I am trying so hard to stay in shape.......... but I soooooo love to eat.....anyone else have this problem????

Happy Running,
So, girl's night out was fun, the sushi was awesome but Mike was not so magic for me.........

We only took one picture....I really need to get better at this. This was us before the show, I'm on the right, we look so happy.

All I can say is that my already marred view of Matthew McConaughey, only got worse. Every time he opened his mouth, I cringed, literally.......He was extra slimy in this movie, and although he was in shape and his body was pretty cut, he looked really old....EWWWWWWW!!!!

Channing Tatum, on the other hand, not only was he really in shape, but the boy could dance!! I mean, really dance, clothes on or off really didn't matter, he exuded all kinds of sexiness just in his dance moves!

There was really not alot of plot, the movie was pretty awful and definitely NOT worth almost $10 to see!! The worst part were all the grown women in the theatre acting like teenagers, whopping and hollering..... pure craziness!!

Have you been to see Magic Mike?? Let me know your thoughts!!

BTW, went to bootcamp on Saturday after a week of no exercising, the emphasis was biceps, triceps, chest, back and core.....I'll just say my arms and chest are so sore I'd like to cry and because of intermittant knee/IT band issues, I haven't run in almost 2 weeks, soooo I go back to bootcamp tonight and I'm gonna attempt a short run in the morning.

I just bought these shoes .......
Newton's Women's Neutral Gravity Trainer W00212

What Newton says: Newton Running's top-of-the-line neutral performance trainer is the ultimate shoe for Natural Running. Get a fast, flexible ride with greater energy return and less impact. The Gravity incorporates patented Action/Reaction Technology™ in both the forefoot and rearfoot. Extremely breathable and form-fitting upper. This shoe allows you to run naturally — faster with greater efficiency. Ideal for any distance.

I am supposed to ease into them and I have done a few short runs in them, but I find myself concentrating so hard on my stride and foot placement, instead of just running.......I have Vibrams that I am up to about 4 miles in, and the forefoot placement comes naturally in those....does anyone wear Newton's? If so, any tips for me??? I may end up sending them back if I can't get used to them!! I feel all kinds of awkward in them!

Happy Running,
The February 2011 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Mallory from A Sofa in the Kitchen. She chose to challenge everyone to make Panna Cotta from a Giada De Laurentiis recipe and Nestle Florentine Cookies.


Giada's Vanilla Panna Cotta


1 cup (240 ml) whole milk
1 tablespoon (one packet) (15 ml) (7 gm) (¼ oz) unflavored powdered gelatin
3 cups (720 ml) whipping cream (30+% butterfat)
1/3 cup (80 ml) honey
1 tablespoon (15 ml) (15 gm) (½ oz) granulated sugar
pinch of salt


1. Pour the milk into a bowl or pot and sprinkle gelatin evenly and thinly over the milk (make sure the bowl/pot is cold by placing the bowl/pot in the refrigerator for a few minutes before you start making the Panna Cotta). Let stand for 5 minutes to soften the gelatin.

2. Pour the milk into the saucepan/pot and place over medium heat on the stove. Heat this mixture until it is hot, but not boiling, about five minutes. (I whisk it a few times at this stage).

3. Next, add the cream, honey, sugar, and pinch of salt. Making sure the mixture doesn't boil, continue to heat and stir occasionally until the sugar and honey have dissolved 5-7 minutes.

4. Remove from heat, allow it to sit for a few minutes to cool slightly. Then pour into the glass or ramekin.

5. Refrigerate at least 6 hours or overnight. Add garnishes and serve.
Nestle Florentine Cookies: Recipe from the cookbook “Nestle Classic Recipes”, and their website.


 2/3 cup (160 ml) (150 gm) (5.3 oz) unsalted butter 2 cups (480 ml) (160 gm) (5 2/3 oz) quick oats
1 cup (240 ml) (230 gm) (8 oz) granulated sugar
2/3 cup (160 ml) (95 gm) (3⅓ oz) plain (all purpose) flour
1/4 cup (60 ml) dark corn syrup
1/4 cup (60 ml) whole milk
1 tsp (5 ml) vanilla extract
pinch of salt
1½ cups (360 ml) (250 gm) (9 oz) dark or milk chocolate


Preheat oven to moderately hot 375°F (190°C) (gas mark 5). Prepare your baking sheet with silpat or parchment paper.

1. Melt butter in a medium saucepan, then remove from the heat.

2. To the melted butter add oats, sugar, flour, corn syrup, milk, vanilla, and salt. Mix well. Drop a tablespoon full, three inches (75 mm) apart, onto your prepared baking sheet. Flatten slightly with the back of yourtablespoon, or use a spatula.

3. Bake in preheated oven for 6-8 minutes, until cookies are golden brown. Cool completely on the baking sheets.

4. While the cookies are cooling melt your chocolate until smooth either in the microwave (1 1/2 minutes), or stovetop (in a double boiler, or a bowl that fits atop a saucepan filled with a bit of water, being sure the water doesn't touch the bottom of the bowl).

5. Peel the cookies from the silpat or parchment and place face down on a wire rack set over a sheet of wax/parchment paper (to keep counters clean).

6. Spread a tablespoon of chocolate on the bottom/flat side of your cookie, sandwiching another (flat end) cookie atop the chocolate.

This recipe will make about 2 1/2 - 3 dozen sandwiched Florentine cookies. You can also choose not to sandwich yours, in which case, drizzle the tops with chocolate (over your wax paper).



Happy Running,
 It's been three weeks since my last post and 3 weeks since my last run and 3 weeks since I've had a chance to breathe. I really need to get back into the swing of things, but no matter how hard I try, I always have a million things to do.....

So here is what's been going on:

1) One of my best friend's father, took his own life 2 weeks ago. I can not explain the feeling you get when you see your friends name on your cell phone ( she lives 8 hours away), you pick it up, and all you here is hysterical crying and no words......awful, trying to find out where she was and if she was oaky, such a scary feeling......I spent the entire week with her and her family, helping in any way that I could.......they have a such a close knit family and her parents were about to celebrate 40 wonderful years of extremely painful and sad, my heart is hurting for her so much.......

2) The same week, I was scheduled to take part 2 of 3 tests to get my EA ( Enrolled Agent) designation. These tests are 4 hours each and a really big deal! I was sooooooo stressed out trying to balance everything. But, the good news is,  I passed!! yay! 1 more to go!

3) Another stressful event that has been going on is that I discovered a lump in my neck about 8 weeks ago. I kept thinking it would go away and that it was just a swollen lymph node. So far, it is still there. I went in for blood work and a Cat scan with contrast, and both came back normal. Although that is great news, I am still concerned. I will be making an appointment with an ENT for a second opinion, even though my General practitioner says that there is nothing to worry about......

4) I have been shopping online, like crazy!! I have been shopping so much that when I received a big Target box on my doorstep yesterday, I had to stop and try to remember what I had ordered from Target. Well, I couldn't think of anything......hmmm, have I really been shopping so much that I can't remember what I bought........go ahead, judge, crazier things have happened around here............but, I opened the package, and it was a gift! Yay! I love surprises!! It is a cool popcorn popper ( which my hubby is in love with), that you can add butter and hot sauce and spices, etc........, from my BIL and SIL!! Suck a great surprise and I am happy that all the shopping hasn't made me crazy!!

5) Today, I hosted my first House Party. It was sponsored by Athenos Greek Yogurt..........
I made several fruit dips and a smoothie and then we all went on a walk and had some fun doing some Dance exercise on Exercise on are some pics!

Lots of cool giveaways, coupons and girl time, but BTW, I HATE Greek yogurt!!
Everyone is always ranting and raving about Greek yogurt, but I just don't like it. I DO like that it is thicker and creamier than traditional yogurt but it has a bitterness that I just really don't like! Oh well!!!
Happy Running,