As I lay here at the beach, in the last few days of our last vacation before school starts, I can't help but think of North Carolina. What? I know, but even though I was born and raised in Florida, I'm a mountain girl at heart... And since I haven't even posted about our NC trip a month ago, I figured I should get to that, so I can blog about our beach trip, soon,  ha!!!

        Blowing Rock, NC is our absolute favorite place to vacation as a family. The view from this back porch should tell you why. The air smells fresher, the weather is amazing in the summer and the beauty of  nature that surrounds you is like no other.

         We make this trip every year and surround ourselves with family and traditions and making new memories. Last year I was on crutches from ankle surgery, so this year I wanted to make sure we included plenty of activity! 

Come along and follow our adventures, in pictures...........

BASS LAKE: Moses Cone Park

This lake, and the gravel trail around it, is .8 miles of sun and shade with trails that lead up the mountain from it. We use this as our go to area to get in a nice easy run or walk. It is basically flat and has a good balance of sun and shade. It does get busy with other walkers, joggers and dogs, but just being out in the fresh air helps me start my day on the right note! 



       If this picture doesn't make you want to at least start this trail hike, you are crazy! This was a moderate trail hike of about 2.3 miles. There were a few muddy areas, but I think this was our favorite of the trails we hit the week we were there, we did it twice!! It was a workout and there were definitely steep spots, but I loved it. I'll give it to you in photos: 


This one was great for the kids, not too hard, but also not quite as scenic as Green Knob. About 2.1 miles. This one was a bit flat and basically just followed the edge of Price Lake. 


This trail was 5.1 miles and took close to 3 hours. Just the sheer length of it was a workout, and it had some steep climbs, slippery/muddy areas and some creeks that required balance to hop from rock to rock to get across. I loved every minute of it! 

         After tons of hikes we mixed it up and went to High Gravity Adventures ( for a ropes course. It was hard work and tons of fun. They had a kids course and an adult course with three levels of difficulty. Couldn't climb with a camera so only one picture! If you are afraid of heights, definitely not the place for you, but it was a great arm/core workout, I was sore the next day!


17 mile bike ride, downhill, with amazing views. This is the 3rd or 4th time we've done this ride and it never dissapoints... 

       Hope you enjoyed our North Carolina adventures and it inspires you to be active, even when your on vacation. There are so many amazing adventures to find wherever you are. And there is always something suitable for every age and fitness level. It doesn't have to be expensive, just keep an open mind, do a little research before heading off to your vacation spot, and enjoy!! 

Part 2: Family, Food and Fun.... Coming soon. 

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,