Sunday, December 15, 2013

It's Been a Minute…..

It  has been a minute since I have posted....over a month. A lot has happened since I last posted. All is going well. I am going into week 3 of Go-Live at one of my Michigan hospitals. The Golive has gone extremely well, but the travel back and forth to Michigan just wears me out.

Whenever I am in a Golive, my goal is to simply maintain what I have lost. I have not trained since Dec 2, and my diet has been on the REALLY not so clean side because of the holiday cheer. So I have GAINED a few pounds. But nothing crazy bad.

Hopefully my training and diet will get back on track after the holidays. Until then, I just need to maintain 146 pounds (up 3 pounds). If I do that through the rest of this month I will be very happy. regards to work, things are going well. There are a few stressful things happening in regards to work but nothing interesting to blog about. 


  1. I have gained 3 pounds (yikes)
  2. My hormones are all over the place causing cystic acne at age (..almost 49) on my face
  3. I have a freaking chemical burn on my face under my right eye the size of a nickel *sigh*. Thank God for concealer!

Pictures of my Grand Kids

Grandson with his Daddy (The youngest grand)

Big Brother, Little Brother, and Cousin…soooo cute

Don't you just love the coat!!!!

Brother and Sister
Erica…My 17 year old

Getting inducted into The Nat'l Honor Society

Erica giving a speech

First Major Snow

Thank God for Snow Blowers!!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

A Happy Medium...

This past week.....

4 days of strength training and a couple of treadmill sessions after training

Push-ups...I can easily do 20 military push-ups now. Muscle memory is wonderful!

Body Weight some work to do there. I was able to do 5 body weight dips...not fully lowering my body like i should. I did several sets to reach a volume of 24. I will keep working on these.

Chin-ups...Have not done any yet. Maybe tomorrow I will see if I can do a few

I have not logged my calories but I have done much better eating clean and getting my veggies in.

We bought a half of a half of a cow....good grass fed beef. We know the owner of the poor cow and we have 226 pounds of beef in our deep freezer.

I have been eating too many eggs... Whole eggs

I am eating primarily high protein, only allowing carbs (bread, rice, fruit) with dinner. That keeps my carb intake pretty low without being too restrictive with my diet. If I want a bun with my steak, I have it...but only one meal. I pick a carb choice for that meal and limit my carbs to that choice. For instance, today, I chowed down on some brown rice and pinto beans with my chicken. I wanted to add fruit, but I did not, trying to keep my carbs limited.

I am trying to find that Happy Medium between training and nutrition that will work together to help me drop the final 10 pounds.

My African Black Soap Skin Care Update...
It has been 10 days and I am washing my face twice a day with the African Black Soap (ABS)
There are times when my face stings when I wash it, and other times when it does not sting at all. My skin looks and feels smoother and my makeup applies effortlessly. I am using less and less of the foundation. The ABS has not stopped the hormonal breakouts. Agh!! 

I ordered some Tea Tree Oil to apply along my jawline when the breakout occur. I also ordered some ABS processed with more SHEA butter to make it a bit more milder. I will continue to use my current ABS but when I do my masks and any exfoliation I will use the milder ABS. I am afraid to exfoliate while my face still stings. 

ABS with Shea
Tea Tree Oil

So the ABS and Shea Butter is working.

My Happy Place with my skin

I stopped to grab lunch at a Cafe located in one of the hospitals that I work. I ordered my food and headed out when this man stopped me. He was sitting at a table with his wife. He asked me, "you travel everyday from Fostoria all the way here to work?" I smiled and said yes...and that I travel even further when I go to my Michigan hospitals. As I was talking to him, I was desperately trying to reach deep down in the recesses of my memory to figure out who this guy was. I spoke with him like I knew him for a bit and then he shared that he saw me that morning getting coffee at the Fostoria Circle K, a gas station that I stop at everyday for my coffee. Wow...what a small world and what are the odds that he sees me (an hour away from Fostoria in that Cafe) and that he remembered me. 

My Flower Diva's
Laurie....she added flowers to our wall 

Geri- Our Surgery IT Diva

Jenn...Sporting her bareMineral's look :)

My Messy Work Space Haha

My Blended Bag of Veggies
 Sad Moment...
An AMAZING man and pillar of our community passed away Thursday. His name is Louie and he worked 45 years at our local YMCA. I went to train yesterday and was shocked when I heard the news. I found it quite difficult to train, but I did. 

Louie left a positive impact on our community and he will be DEARLY MISSED, but I am comforted by the fact that I know Louie is with our heavenly Father.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Smiling about my Skin....

No training to day 

Gonna Skype with my coach tomorrow and ask him the best way to incorporate push-ups, pullups, and dips in my routine.

Don't want to talk about it....about 1600 calories of unclean food

I think I am going to love the African Black Soap and Raw Shea Butter skin care routine. Yesterday I mentioned the zit that I had that I was not going to mess with. Let me tell you something really cool. That zit came to a head within 4 hours. I could not believe it and when I washed my face with the African Black soap prior to bed, the yuk wiped clean with the rag. I followed the soap with my PTR serum followed by the Shea butter.

I can already see and feel a difference in my skin for the better. First of all, I expected to see darkened areas on my skin from the burning and redness that I had from the initial few days of using the soap. My skin did not darken. I think the Shea butter is moisturizing and has enough nutrients to help heal my skin from the irritation. My face feels smooth as silk and that zit...totally flat and barely there. 

My skin does feel oily for about 3 hours and then my face must absorb the access oil because the oiliness does get better. My makeup applies like a dream and I think I am less oily than usual. 

Another thing I am loving is that my night time routine has gone from 5 steps with 6 different products to only 3 products....cutting my 15 minute cleansing routine down to 5 minutes. I am stoked about that.

I used the Shea butter as a conditioner for my hair today and it turned out nice as well. It was easy to straighten with a flat iron.

I need an intervention
My daughter Erica with the hat

Daughter Kathy in Florida
Son Nick
Daughter Jessica

Grand Sons (Jessica Kids)

Bob (Hubby) and our dog Polp

Laurie and Annette Working...haha

My Gums are bigger than my teeth!!! I have BIG GUMS and SMALL TEETH

I love this tee!!

My grand son and daughter (Kathy's kids)

A few items from the MAC Holiday Collection 

Well...what can I say
Smashbox is another love

Kohl's extended their makeup line to some of my favorite Brands
And I can use my Kohls Cash... ahhhhhhh
This makeup palette is from The Balm as well as the makeup brush
The Powder Compact is #40 from Cargo

Saturday, November 2, 2013

African Black Soap.....


I also decided to see how many good military push-ups could I do....sad day. I only did 12 really good ones. A few years back I could do 40 with no I will start doing them again and get back to  the good.

When I am at the gym, I will see where I am with body weight pull-ups...we will see if I can do any and then check how many body weight dips I can do.

At least I will have a starting point with these 3 body weight exercises.

Veggie 2 egg omelet
A bag of blended frozen mixed veggies
Mahi Mahi grilled fish..about 3-4 oz
Small apple

Let's talk about my skin....
I have extremely oily skin. As an adolescent, I had horrible acne...hormonal in nature. Between 5th and 9th grade my acne was unsightly. Around 10th grade after my hormones settled down, my acne cleared on its own. I recalled using noxema as my facial cleanser during that time. 

My skin in my 20s and 30s was oily with minimal breakouts...and I did not treat my skin good at all. I would wash my face in the morning and sleep in my makeup at times and was blessed to not break out despite my really oily skin. 

Now, fast forward to the past 2 years....
I am a HORMONAL NIGHTMARE as I am pre-menopausal and my skin has become acne prone again.  So, I have invested in high end facial cleansers to keep things at bay...but I can count on 3-4 acne bumps a week. And then I have the nasty habit of squeezing my zits. I know that is bad...but I just can't help the squeezing causes further inflammation and ultimately black spots (hyper pigmentation). So I have to put concealer to cover the black spots which clogs my pores leading to more acne. Agh!!!!!!! So I am a hyper pigmentation mess!!  

I am trying a new facial routine. If you read my blog you know I like my makeup and that will never change. I wear makeup daily on top of extremely oily skin. My skin is so oily that to keep the oil at bay I put a layer of Milk Of Magnesia on my face...yes...MOM regular flavor and it turns my skin white. Then I put on a layer of Lanacane anti-chafing gel over the MOM. The minerals in MOM absorb oil and the Dimethicone in the Lanacane acts as an INEXPENSIVE primer for my skin. I always read ingredients on products, and my $30 facial primers have the exact same ingredients as Lanacaine or Monostat anti-chafing gel ($4).

What's new in my routine is African Black Soap. I just started using it on Wednesday. I hope to replace some of my absorbantly expensive Peter Thomas Roth facial cleansers and moisturizers with all natural  products. 

I bought my African Black Soap from Butter N Bars along with pure SHEA Butter which I will use as my moisturizer. 

African Black Soap

100% Pure Shea Butter

So, I read a lot of reviews and I researched the products for hours and purchased them on Monday and received them by Wednesday. 

I used the Black African Soap and Shea butter Wednesday and the soap burned like crazy on my face. If I had to rate the burning on a scale of 1-10 (10 being unbearable burning) I would rate the burning a 6/10. Whoa!!!! I researched that and found that the PH of African Soap is between 8 and 10!! Very alkaline. I decided to use my Peter Thomas Roth Face Serum on my face following the soap and then put the Shea butter on top of that. I felt the sting for about 3 hours. I figured I would wake up to red inflamed skin that will lead to deep dark marks from the chemical burns. That's what happens to my skin when I pick my zits or use something too skin turns really dark in the inflamed areas.

Thursday morning, indeed my skin was red and inflamed around my mouth area, so I skipped the African Soap and used my Peter Thomas Roth facial products. Thursday night I BRAVELY used the African soap again and experienced the same burning....but less intense 5/10 burning.  So I followed it with the PTR serum and the Shea butter and woke up Friday morning with redness as I expected. I did the same thing and used my PTR cleansers in the morning routine. Friday evening, I decided to use the African soap again BUT I put a layer of Shea butter on the hyper sensitive areas of my face prior to using the soap...and yay...that helped significantly with the burning 3/ longer burning, just a bit of stinging.

So, since I don't have to worry about the bareMinerals November video shoot, I can be more daring with my skin starting today, I will use the African soap morning and night. 

This morning I started my routine with the Shea Butter on the sensitive areas on my face and then lathered up with the African Soap.  Instead of the stinging...I had a tingling sensation that I would rate a 2/10....woohoo.  But, I have a new pimple on my lower right jawline. I AM GOING TO TRY MY BEST TO NOT PICK IT!!! PRAY FOR MY STRENGTH NOT TO PICK IT. We will see if the black soap helps this. I am hoping that the black soap will prevent the breakouts....but we will see. 

I think I will ditch the cream/liquid concealers that I like to use to cover my black marks and will use my bareMinerals mineral concealers on those areas. I am going to miss my MAC Prolong Wear, which is my FAVORITE concealer because it covers like a dream, but I think it is contributing to my clogged pores and breakouts. So I will keep you posted on my skin.

Today's bareMinerals Makeup 

Random Thoughts....
I watch a lot of youtube videos...mostly makeup related stuff and the advertisements prior to the videos get on my nerves...but there are 2 commercials that I watch every time they come on...

Friday, November 1, 2013

Annette's bareMinerals News....

A couple of blogs ago I mentioned that I was being considered for a spot on an upcoming November  bareMinerals infomercial. If you read that blog, I posted my before and after pictures....before my makeup and after using bareMineral. Thank God for Well, a little after 6pm today I received the bad news....... I was not selected for the November shoot, however, I will be considered for a spot in another infomercial that they are planning to do around January or February. 

So, I was indeed disappointed. Who likes rejection, right?

But, this is not a "bad" thing. I will use this rejection as my motivation to be an even better DIVA than I already am :) 

This news came just as I was thinking about Margarita Friday with my husband. Suffice it to say that my Margarita Friday date went out of my brain. Instead, I boiled a bag of veggies, then blended them in my blender and drank my 5 servings of veggies for the day. 

Instead of lifting a pitcher of Margarita on the rocks, visions of  push-ups, pull-ups, and dips entered my mind. 

By time January/February rolls around, I should be looking good. Now I have an additional reason to lose the final 10. I want to be picked to be in that shoot. Even if I am not chosen, It won't be because I am not looking my best. 

So here we go..... My birthday is in January. My new motto will be 49 and looking fine!!! Haha. Time to make that motto real!!!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Rum and Coke Night

My partner in crime at my North Region Hospitals that we support is Cindy girl. I am so lucky to have Cindy because she keeps things sailing smoothly in the North Region while I am at Flower...the biggest of the 3 hospitals that we support. I am usually at my North Hospitals 1-2 times a week....most of the time only once a week. So the load falls on Cindy to keep things running smoothly with the electronic clinical documentation. 

Out of all my fab crew, Cindy is the most "straight laced" of us all. She is as prim and proper as she looks and she is just a gem to work with. But I can corrupt even the straight laced nurses with my craziness....hahaha. 



None today


Chicken salad sandwich
Cake- one piece
Sesame seed snacks
Pumpkin fudge...a kinda big piece
Chicken drumstick...1 leg broiled

And a much needed RUM AND COKE!!!!

I decided to have a stiff drink when I got home following an anxiety provoking work related meeting. AGH!!!!

I wore a blue smokey eye shadow look to work today...not the same old neutral dud look. was pretty...using shadows from my new vice2 palette. The look was more a night time out on the town look....but I brought the look to work. Bold eyes, boring hair, no lipstick. That is soooo me.

I came home looking for a package that I hoped my hubby would not find before I got home. I parked the car, ran to the side porch and then to the front porch. Sigh of relief, the package had not arrived. Then I walked up the back porch...and was greeted by my husband with "are you looking for this?" He had the package in his hands.  I mumbled, ummm.....yeah. That is the last package that I should be getting. He looked at me in disgust and he said...yeah you said that 5 packages ago.

I humbly took the package walked in the house, took the package to the bedroom and ripped it open. 

By the time hubby came in, all the contents of the package were out of the box and put away and I made it a point to smile and strike up a conversation unrelated to my packages.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Recognition Matters.....

"There are two things people want more than sex and money--recognition and praise." Mary Kay

I remember sitting in my bosses office spouting off from my mouth that I did not need praise. What a bunch of bull shit...right? I will admit it....I am a recognition junkie! I like recognition and you like recognition too. 

If I could re do one thing in my career as a boss, I would recognize my people more. I think God moved me into the thankless world of IT to learn the importance of recognizing people. This position has made me a better leader, and a true leader is a person that recognizes the efforts of others on his/her team. I was not good at that a few years back. I held my staff at a very high level and did not recognize their amazing work often enough. I used to think it was enough to praise them in their yearly evaluations....that's good enough. I was wrong.

Well, today at work my team, along with the project manager at one of the hospitals I support received a service excellence award. We each received a certificate....that we will frame a place proudly in our office...and a sincere thank you from the Leadership team at Flower Hospital. 

That made my day!!!!!

You know me, after the presentation I pulled the team together to take our OWN special picture. (They took a formal picture at the meeting).

From left to right... Chris (Project Manager for the hospital), Jenn and partners in crime, Tammie, my super supervisor, and then me.

Work should be fun and for the most part my job is fun. We work hard and we play when we can. 

As you can see...I had a good day at work!!!

I have upper body training tonite. I have not gone to the gym, but I will let you know tomorrow what I trained.

So, my diet consisted of a high fat sandwich that I bought at the coffee shop....
Cal 490
Fat 20 g
Carbs  56g
Pro 23g

Not the cleanest sandwich...haha (had pepperoni and 2 thick slices of mozzarella cheese) then I had 1 large sugar cookie...about 200 calories and lots of carbs and fat

I will eat a ton of veggies for dinner and some chicken breast and probably an apple or 2 tonite.

So, not the cleanest diet...but oh well, I am happy!!!!!

I am loving an eyeshadow palette I bought from Urban Decay called the Vice 2 Palette. (I have the Vice 1 palette edition 2012). This palette rocks. I can use this palette as a stand alone...which is rare for many palettes. I have used this palette exclusively for the last 5 days...I am in love.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Dare to be different....

'Tell me I can't do something, I will do it. Tell me I can't have something, I will have it, some way, some how. Yesterday I went to one of my favorite stores and fell in love with some flared plaid patterned pants. I just had to have them. I was kinda hoping that the store would NOT have my size so that I could walk away without looking back....BUT they had my size. Well maybe they won't fit, right? So I snatched them up and headed to the dressing room and rushed out of my pants, threw them in the corner and then donned the amazing plaids. And then I heard the heavenly angels singing aaaahhhh in unison in my head. They fit GREAT! Off to the cash register, cha....ching for the store and I strolled out of the store happy as a clam. do I get past my hubby. I committed to a NO BUY. I will not break my word again.....Promise.

So I took the bag in the house, dropped it in the foyer until the coast was clear and then I got the pants and hung them up with the many other pants hanging in my closet getting no love. 

So, these pants are a tad bit....just a tad bit over the top for my conservative work should I do??? WEAR the pants. And since I am being a bit bold, why not take it to the next level and wear polka dots with the plaid pants. I LOVE IT!! 

Disclaimer....I am not trying to show a picture of my tush, I am trying to show the coolness of the polka dots and plaid....haha.

So, this is what I wore to work. I LOVE THE well as my polka dot cami. Haha

Then at exactly 3:36pm today this beauty popped into my inbox at a 65% discounted price...

OMG....LOVE IT and I just could not help but to push that place in shopping cart button. Then something forced me to click the checkout button and then it was one click. 

I will take a pic of me wearing it when I receive it in the mail. I love the FedEx and UPS trucks.
Now...promise, I am on the No Buy Track for 4 weeks. Starting now....for real. 

I need an intervention....


Lower Body Day

I did 3 sets of the following 

Leg presses 
Stiff Legged Dead Lifts
Standing Calf Raises
Step ups on High Bench
Around the world ab exercise

I was in and out in 40 minutes

What did I eat today....

Chicken Breast Caesar Wrap 
1 large Ghost SugAr Cookie
1 Apple
2 eggs with peppers and onions from our garden...hubby made it for me

That's all for the food

I need to lose 8-10 pounds of this. I am holding a pound of fat in my hands. This is a model of fat that I keep on my desk at work....quite the conversation piece. This model is special to me. First, it helps me keep things in perspective when I want to get down on myself for not losing a pound of fat a week. A true pound of FAT is ALOT and so is half a pound. Second, when I want to stuff my face with 3 big sugar cookies, I look at my fat model.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Starting Tomorrow......

Back to the grind....yay. I am in a good way has slowed down and my gym hours are extended, so I have no excuses for slacking on my training. 

Perhaps I can get my mind in sync with my goal to lose the 10 pounds that my body wants to hold on to for dear life. I am past the desire to work like a crazy woman to get the weight off fast. A couple of years ago I would be at the gym twice a day doing cardio in the morning and strength training in the evening. My diet would consist of chicken breast and green beans and protein shakes.

Forget that crap. While I am not a super duper lean bodybuilding machine, I look okay. At 20% bodyfat I look fine. But, I would love to lose 10 more pounds which would put me at 18% bodyfat...which would be perfect for me.

So, perhaps I can do it in the next couple of months.

Training is going well, the diet is just okay...but not crisp enough to lose the final 10 pounds so starting tomorrow I am going to tighten up my diet.

So here we go....again :)

Friday, October 18, 2013


No training....just work. But after work, hubby and I went out and I had too many Margaritas. Yes, I am inebriated I will admit that,

Life is grand.

That is my blog for tonite.  God help me tomorrow morning..

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Where have I been?

Oh, it has been a long time since I have blogged....about 2 months!!! Well, know this, I have been crazy busy the past few months at work and at home. So let me update you all on my adventures!

Home Life

First thing, I moved from one house to another! UGH!!! For those of us that have moved, you know how crazy it is to move. I still have boxes and stuff everywhere, doing bits and pieces here and there. It has been crazy!! 

All is well with the husband, kids, and grandkids. My mom, sister and brother and their families are doing well too. 


Just went live with a huge upgrade at work. I have worked hard with my team of great folks to ensure as smooth of un upgrade to our electronic health record system as possible. People who work in IT can surely appreciate what it means to undergo a huge upgrade that ultimately changes the end users world a bit. The upgrade went well....of course we had some hiccups and continue to do so, but for the most part the hospitals that I lead (along with the other system hospitals) the upgrade went pretty great...really. We had to take the doctors, nurses, and ancillary clinicians off line for about 12 hours....that is it. We were prepared to be down between 16-24 hours. 

Long hours, endless phone calls and end user support filled my waking I was away from home from Sunday through Wednesday...about 4 days from October 6-10. Then I got to go home on Thursday and then I watched the grandkids at my daughters house Friday night.

In the midst of the craziness, I was contacted by the manager of Bare Minerals Informercials (a cosmetic and skin care line) to submit before and after photos for consideration to be used for their 2013 Informercial. How cool is that? I love Bare Minerals and I have hundreds of dollars worth of their products that I use daily and to be considered for an Informercial is really neat...and an honor. I will let you all know if I get selected or not. 

What is awesome about Bare Minerals is that they use normal every day people like myself in their ads and infomercials. I LOVE that. 

So I had to quickly do a before and after picture using all their products. 

So let me share the Good, Bad, and bare faced and then me all glammed up with their products...


Well, although the Bare Minerals made a world of difference the night I put it on, I was not really happy with the end results...I did the photos last Thursday around 9pm after a long day of work and several days working second shift. I submitted the above photos Thursday night just in case I did not have time to do a better photo on Saturday (that depended on how busy I would be with the grands). 

Well I had a strategy. I kept my cutie pie 2 year old and 1 year old grand children up Friday night til They both were out like a light come Saturday morning. That gave me time to do my makeup right, and plus my eye bags were MUCH better after 7 hours of sleep. So I took my time doing my makeup and hair....and took several pictures that I was happy with and I re-submitted my after photos for the Bare Minerals Team to consider.

I was much happier with this photo.

So....we will see what happens. Wish me luck!!!!!


You know me, when life gets busy...what suffers? My my gym days were hap hazard the past few months, but I kept my eating at bay and I maintained my weight and started back to training a few weeks ago. So it is all good. I will post some pictures next month prior to Thanksgiving. Maybe sooner. 

Today, I took some pictures with my girls at work...we call ourselves the Flower They are part of my Hospital Support Informatics Team at Flower Hospital. I have to take a picture of my girl Cindy at my North Hospitals. You will see that next week.

Let me share some pictures of the grands!!!!!

Ha...check out one of the supplement shirts I got at the Olympia Bodybuilding thingy. I love this shirt.
Sporting it in my half done top cabinets, the old cabinets are white at the bottom. My kitchen is tore up....just the sub flooring. A huge work in progress.....for my hubby. He does a little each weekend. 

Well, that is all for now. I am back for about a month and then I am busy again with yet another Golive at one of my Michigan Hospitals in December.....during the holidays of course.......