Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Paddling and Gobbling

 I can't believe it's already Thanksgiving. 

This year the hubs and I are taking full advantage of autumn in the land of palm tress by participating in the Turkey Trot, Florida-style.  

Instead of running a 5K or 10K, we will be paddle boarding in a two mile race. 

It doesn't sound that far, but the race begins at 7:30 a.m. and it's been a bit chilly down here, so I think battling hypothermia may make the race a bit more intense :)

We have the fitness in, so we can indulge a bit later.  

There's nothing this girl love more than a good carb and comfort foods.  But if you know me, you know I am a vegetarian most of the time, and a pescatarian some of the time.  

Either way, no turkey. 

I believe my lack of love for the meat stems from a Thanksgiving years back.  I think I was about five, and we were celebrating Thanksgiving when someone mentioned there was a "big bird in the oven." My little ears heard "big bird" and I burst into tears, believing Big Bird was roasting. 

Basically me. 
No more meat for me. 

If turkey is for you, please note the benefits of gobble:

- Turkey offers more protein per portion than chicken, beef or pork.  It is also easily digestible, making it perfect for those with sensitive GI systems and those that are older. 

- Turkey has less total fat than other meats, including chicken.

- Turkey's white meat is also low in calories.

Please remember portion control.
 (plus the more you have left over, the less you need to cook the days following!) 

The traditional foods we eat, obviously weren't exactly what the Pilgrims ate.  
(Sorry, no pumpkin pie at the first Thanksgiving).  

While they most likely ate turkey, records show they also ate venison (also a great protein source, low in saturated fat), fish and lobster (remember, they were on the coast). 

Most likely I will go in the direction of the sea and make healthier crab cakes. 

From Skinny Taste: the recipe
Recipe note: I use breadcrumbs instead of crackers. They tend to be less processed.

These are so delicious and perfect to eat everyday, by adding on salad, in a pita or along with roasted veggies. 

Hope you all enjoy your Thanksgiving.  Indulge a bit, but remember what the day is about. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Marital Bonding

Since competitions are in the off season, the Hubs and I have been trying to think of things to do together. 

Actually, this has been a long process, especially since up until two months ago, the Hubs has been abroad most of our marriage.  I would find hobbies (like competing) but they were more singular-based since I was by myself.

We did try to find something. 

When we worked together on the boat, we took up paddle boarding.  But it was a lot easier to drop in the boards and go for an early morning paddle when Caribbean Sea is at your back door (literally). 

We tried camping ... in the swamp ... in the spring.

Needless to say the mosquitos and all-night Christina Aguilera Spanish-version CD blaring from the family reunion on the other side of the camp site made us head for home early the next morning.  

Hubs attempted to teach me SCUBA, but I have trouble remembering to breathe while watching TV& I'm a nose breather, so the regulator and I have to get more acquainted before I graduate from pool to open water. 

We also tried working out together, but spending three hours at the gym on a Saturday obviously didn't appeal to Hubs.

Two weekends ago, the Hubs suggested hitting up the driving range.  Even that didn't go as planned! When I learned to play golf in Ohio, the driving range I frequented was set up as little separated boxes, in the shade, with a Coke machine in near the pro shop.  It was come as you are, and often a Saturday morning, college-guys would show up in all their hung-over glory, complete with uncombed hair and PJ pants. 

So when Hubs suggested we go, I didn't have a second thought about my cut off shortie-shorts and tank top.  Unfortunately, the golf course, where the driving range was, had a dress code that was not "lazy Sunday" approved. 

I wasn't kicked out, but I was a little shy about stepping on to the green.   Eventually a lady with a short golf skirt and sleeveless polo showed up, and I'm sure I exposed less booty than she did when we took our set-up stance.  

Note to self: Invest in a polo and bermuda shorts. 

It was fun, but Hubs and I were looking more for driving range and less country club.

But last weekend, we perhaps found a niche.

We competed in the Warrior Dash

5K of obstacles and fun.  

Pre-race, representing Hubbie's home team

Post race glory! 

Post-race nourishment!

I had fun, my knee on the other hand ...
it grew another knee cap :)

I might be a little late to the fun-run party, but I highly recommend this as a great way not only to bond with family and with friends (I believe I saw a bridal party, which I'm sure my bridesmaids are glad I found out about this after our wedding, otherwise we'd be hitting the town with dirt in our hair), but as a fun way to get in some exercise.   

I know that runs ranges in difficulty level, but the Warrior Dash is great for all levels.  Some people started walking pretty early into the race, most dress in costume and you can bypass the obstacles if you feel unable to accomplish them, but isn't that the point?

A lot of the obstacles include pulling yourself up or over something, swimming, jumping and obviously running.  What better why to move your body!

I also have to note that the day after golfing my chest and core, specifically my obliques, were so sore.  I always recommend weight lifting, but sometimes it's nice to use our bodies in ways we normally wouldn't.  It breaks our bodies out of plateaus.

Here is a list of MudRuns ... some are female only, so grab so girlfriends.  Sites like Road Race Runner also have a ton of running events, listed by states and organized by length of race.

Before you start anything, please make sure you train and have proper equipment.  While the Warrior Dash can be done in hiking shoes, for most and multiple runs I would invest in a good pair of running shoes (And good doesn't always equal expensive).

Excited?  Look up your local Turkey Trot and earn your piece of pumpkin pie this Thanksgiving. 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Weekend Recap and Pumpkin Pancakes

The Fit Wife is injured again.


Thanks to a pair of 5-inch heels.

This weekend was very busy in the Fit household.

Hubs has put blood, sweat and tears into prepping the boat he captains for sale at the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show, which was this weekend.  So Hubs spent all weekend on the boat.

But that’s okay, because I had a special guest come to visit!

My Pops!

Originally both parents and my bestie were supposed to come down, but both ladies ended up sick.

So it was "T and Pops Time" at the boat show.  Even Hurricane Sandy cooperated and (mostly) left town before dad got here and she gave us a beautiful day of walking on Saturday.

After walking around the boat show all afternoon, Hubs, Pops and I got ready for a huge Oktoberfest-themed Halloween party:

Dad and Hubs decked out! 

I thought it would be cheeky to go as Waldo lost in Oktoberfest.
Never again.  All night people would say, "I found you!" It got old. 

I think the combo of walking around for hours, then standing in heels for hours ailed my aching back (which I thought was on the mend).

Luckily it didn’t ruin my weekend as Sunday was low-key, with both men at the boat show, I got some quiet time to study and rest. 

This weekend, I managed to get my dad to not only get acupuncture (which he said helped!) but to try my clean-eats Pumpkin Protein Pancakes

I have an obsession with everything fall, which except for the last two days, we don't get here in Florida.  So expect a few more clean pumpkin/squash recipes before the holidays. 

Since tomorrow is Halloween, what better way to celebrate than with a good, protein-filled breakfast?!

 (You might not even want to nibble on a fun-sized Snickers bar after you have these!)

Mix together:
2 egg whites
1 scoop of vanilla protein powder
4 T of pure pumpkin puree
2 T of oats
1 tsp of Splenda/Truvia
Dash of cinnamon
Dash of pumpkin pie spice

I usually let it sit for about five minutes, then I make it like I would a pancake.  This usually makes four small pancakes, or two large ones.

I usually top mine with sugar-free maple syrup, extra cinnamon, and a dash of Splenda.

Super yummy!!!!

(I like them even better cold, so make them the night before, put them in the fridge, and top in the morning before you go off to work or eat them)

I also wanted to make a dessert for our BBQ on Sunday, so I made these:

Here's the
recipe.  I actually added two egg whites and used club soda instead of Sprite Zero. I think White Chocolate Jello pudding powder would have been better than the vanilla.  Actually you could use any flavor of cake mix or pudding powder.
Very good, very light and a nice treat without breaking the weight-bank too much.  

Enjoy your Halloween!!! 

Monday, October 22, 2012

Post-Show and a Recipe

All done! 

I left off with my day of rest before the chaos.

Friday pre-show brings of on the most important (and often criticized) aspects of the competition: the tan.  Believe it or not, in the judging book, complexion (the color and evenness of tan) is component in judging. 

Here's the funny thing about bikini competitions: while we are up there posing in tiny pieces of fabric, nothing about the bikini competition is "sexy." 

 For the last 12 weeks, most of us have spend 3 hours a day in the gym, sweating, wearing the same gym clothes day-in and day-out, drinking gallons of water, eating loads of asparagus, and using the guest bathroom since we are not only peeing constantly, but the stench of asparagus follows us around. 

We shower Friday morning, go about our day, and by Friday evening, it's time to tan.  We stand in a small tent, stark naked, while women with shower caps and face masks spray us with a freezing cold mist, asking us to bend and stretch in ways that just shouldn't be done without at least skivvies on.  Then we are pointed in the direction of another tent, where fans blow cold air on us for about 10 minutes.  Three hours later, we come back for another coat.

Pretty much what we look like close up

If you every used a spray tan, you know it smells.  

On top of that, we are advised to sleep in long pants and long sleeve T-shirt to reduce the amount of friction that could rub off the tan (if you are traveling, you are advised to bring your own sheets as hotels will charge for tan stains).  Bundled up overnight, we tend to sweat a bit.  

And while this show had a HUGE backstage area for us, most backstage areas are small high school off-stage dressing rooms, complete with the big vanity lights.  And with easily 30-50+ competitors, and every one's curling or straight iron going non-stop, it can get very hot, very quickly.  And no deodorant, since it will mess with the tan, so by the time 10 pm rolls around post-show, we are rank. 

Our hair is matted with multiple hair product, extensions, spray tan and glaze (which is put on just before you go on stage to make sure muscles shine).  Our faces make drag queens cry. We haven't had proper hydration in 12 hours and we are low on carbs. 

Sexy, maybe not.  Fun ... yes.

Surprisingly, there is a camaraderie backstage, no cat fights.  Rarely is anyone rude to another.  If someone needs a different color lipstick, multiple girls open their make up case.  If someone is struggling with their hair, another girl is teasing and spraying it for her.  We check each other's tags and pillow stuffing, help each other on which front pose looks best.  There is an understanding that what we have sacrificed is similar for all of us, and that brings us together.  During pre-judging there is a lot of waiting around, so you tend to talk to your neighbor, share mirrors and hair spray and stare longingly at the fitness girls who often get to eat Skittles and peanut butter pre-show to help give them a bit of a energy rush.  

So how did I do?

I didn't win.  I didn't even place.  Yes, I am a bit upset, especially since I placed the other two local competitions I was did.  But the competition was tough, and I wasn't what the judges wanted on Saturday.

What is more important is how much my body has changed in the past year and a half since I started training.  No I was not overweight, but I struggled because I didn't understand food.  Not just how food works, but how to enjoy the food that should be enjoyed (like fro-yo and cheesecake).  I was an abuser.  A food addict. I could never understand people that didn't finish their plate.

My body was screaming, and I wasn't listening.  Now I pay it the attention it deserves.

From l. to r. July 2011, October 2011, October 2012

I am in a good mental place.  Often times competitors fall off the wagon after a competition. It's post-competition blues.  However, I have worked so hard this past year.  And in the last week, I nearly broke my back (well, injured it pretty good).  So I don't to go back to the beginning. 

Surprisingly my sweet tooth is more under control than I expected, and while I did enjoy some pizza, a Mexican lunch and fro-yo, I am looking forward to experimenting with clean recipes. 

Which I will share one of my favorites.  

I really love sweet potatoes, but 365 days of sweet potatoes ... I think I am turning orange (and not just from the fake tan). Plus I was really craving the Pasta Mediterranean from Brio's (random, I know, especially since I'm not huge on Italian food).

Thank goodness for spaghetti squash!

One cup has 10 carbs and 42 calories. 

After gutting the seeds, I usually bake the squash (30 mins., 400 F), let it cool, then fork out the inside (looks like spaghetti!)

Spray a little olive oil in a skillet, add the veggies you want (I like shredded carrots, onions, mushrooms, broccoli, spinach and asparagus).

Then add a cup of the spaghetti squash.  

Saute with a bit of balsamic vinegar.

Finally, add a protein (you can start with egg whites, for more of a stir-fry, chicken or I add pre-cooked scallops).

looks a bit like this. ::stolen photo::

 Nom Nom!

As for my oatmeal bake breakfast treat, if you choose to make it, I would leave the brown sugar out of the recipe.  You can't really taste it once baked, and the fruit and chocolate pieces make it sweet enough (maybe even substitute regular chocolate chips for the mini-ones).

It would cut out some of the sugar, plus after cutting a piece, you can always add a sprinkle of brown sugar to the top and I can guarantee it will save you some empty calories.  You could even heat it up and have it a la mode with some frozen yogurt as a nice dessert!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Pre-Show Off Day

Thursday is my day off from school and clinic.  

Thank goodness, too.  

On Sunday, I ended up pulling my lower back muscles (scary scary scary when you can't stand up or move).  Fortunately, it was at the very last set, so I didn't feel too terrible crawling walking out of the gym. And thanks to Aleve, and broken up cardio sessions I could make it through my workouts on Monday. 

And lucky me, my clinic shift are Tuesdays, so I begged my partner for a treatment.  

By the way, acupuncture is AH-MAZE-BALLS! I hope to write more about it, but for now I will just leave you with the fact that while I was still in pain, my back felt looser and the "pain" was more dull and sore than the sharp, stabbing pains I previous had. 

Anyway, I felt great yesterday, but this morning, I rushed out the door without taking my trusty Aleve. 


I barely made it through my cardio sessions, came home and collapsed on a heating pad (a gift from the hubs) for about two hours.  

Pre-show Fridays involve show check-ins, packing my day-of bag, tanning and all around chaos (not to mention I have to start cutting water, so I am not the happiest person to be around, unfortunately for the Hubs). 

Thursday I try to tie up loose ends, run last minute errands, get a manicure, clean the house (since I'm useless for the day following the show) and typically bake something for a post-show treat.  

I'm in a good mindset this time around, and I don't want to ruin how hard I worked (especially since I will most likely take a few days off of hardcore gym-time to rest the back). 

Plus my parents and bestie come to visit next weekend, so I don't want to go too overboard with post-show cheat meals since their visit will bring some meals out and some libations. :) 

But I have a sweet tooth.  While it's under-control, I refuse to give it up.  I seriously wish a study would come out saying that chocolate was a food group. 

Until then, I try to pick and choose exactly what I want as to satisfy the little obese child inside screaming for the darkest cocoa around. 

My post-show treat: Fool's Toffee.

Yum Yum: Here's the recipe. It's so easy!
I love this stuff.  It's best cold, so it needs to be frozen or refrigerated, meaning it's not as easy to eat as a candy bar.  You can nibble on a piece and feel satisfied. 

This time around I also want to attempt this: 

Oatmeal Bake: recipe

I love my typical egg-based breakfast, but I thought I might switch it up with a special treat.  And if it's good, I'll have some in the fridge for my parents and bestie when they come to visit.  
I'll let you know how it goes!  

More to come tomorrow (photos of me in my orange-glazed glory!) 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Be an Animal

Welcome to the Fit Wife.

This week has been a little stressful since it’s the final week of competition prep. 
People always ask me about competing, and I’m sure people have misconceptions as well. 
(I know I did).

So I will share a bit of my prep with you.

Today: Workout Routine! 

My mornings start between 5 and 5:30 am.

(Sorry Hubs!)

If I need to send progress pictures, I don the ‘kini and clear heels at 5 am and set the camera timer.  It’s not glamorous, I’m pale, tired-eyed and my hair looks like something a cat threw up.  But progress pics need to be in by 8 am, so my coaches have to deal with all my morning glory.

I get in some cardio.  Typically I recommend weights then cardio.  But some mornings I'm late, so I start with cardio, then if I have time, add whatever weights I can get in.
  Otherwise weights are done with a second cardio session. 

This lasts through the rest of the week, though Thursday/Friday workouts tend to be less tense only because you don’t want to go on stage super sore (you are in heels for a majority of Saturday) nor do you want your muscles to be too lean (there is a science to this).

I don’t recommend two-a-day cardio sessions for the non-competitor.  Not only is it time-consuming, for someone without a short-term goal, it’s hard to maintain.  

And “habits” hard to maintain don’t get maintained.

So for all of you wanting a routine that is easier to stick with (hey, it's still called a WORK-out), I recommend high intensity interval training, both in cardio and weights three to four times a week, alternating days of cardio intervals with hour-long cardio sessions.

Be the animal you are :)

HIIT should only last 20 minutes at the most and involves bouts of high intensity (such as a sprint) with lower intensity (walking or jogging).  This doesn't have to be done on a treadmill, try 30 seconds of vigorous peddling on a stationary bike or elliptical.  

No gym? If I run outside, I will find markers (e.g., parked cars, driveways, lamp/telephone posts, etc.), and determine a length to go full out (for example, from one lamp post to the next one or more if too close together). also offers 12-minute intense workouts (often I try to do at least two, and they are no joke!)

I usually recommend beginners start at 16 minutes, with 30 second sprints, and one minute of walking/jogging.  

Great plan; adjust speeds accordingly. And p.s. contestants on The Biggest Loser were asked to sprint at 10 mph for 30 seconds and could do it.  Just try.  Extra challenge, add 3-5 pound dumbbells to your recovery walk.
What I LOVE about HIIT (besides only taking 20 minutes) is that you can customize as you grow in speed and strengthen.  Don’t be afraid to challenge yourself, but also don’t be afraid to lower the intensity if it seems to be too much.  It should be difficult, you'll want to pass out/throw up/die, but you should be able to complete it.

Even better than fitting into your schedule: a recent study showed volunteers who did intervals on a stationary bike, totaling 2.5 minutes of sprint action, burned on average an extra 200 calories a day! Not to mention HIIT help to maintain lean muscle.

As far as HIIT, it involves grouping a set of exercises (I like to group 3 or 4 together) and do each as fast as possible, with the most challenging weight at a fast speed. 

And most importantly, don't forget to eat something high protein after.  I like a tuna on a rice cake or a tuna wrap (3 oz. tuna, a small low-carb tortilla, and some spinach ... a splurge is adding a dash of hummus or guacamole for even more yumminess. Don't go all out and ruin your hard work.)

Sunday, October 14, 2012


I completely missed September.

… And most of October.


Luckily, it’s due to good things, such as the last 60 days or so off of school.  I have been training for a competition (it’s this weekend!), so I have enjoyed sleeping through my 5 am wake up calls and lazy days. 

I know, I know.  I made a big deal about not doing another competition, but this my inaugural competition a year ago, and it’s right down the street, so I gave into temptation.  And when I began this competition journey, I gave myself a year, so Oct. 20 will signify full circle (and the day I will most likely enjoy pizza.  The real stuff, not the cauliflower-based pizza, that everyone raves about but I can't seem to not bake to the pan, let alone perfect it).

Really wished I lived in Chicago ... Lou Malnati's anyone?
Brett, maybe this can be my birthday present :)

So, what’s next?

Well, I have given some serious thought to my future.  While I “graduated” in August, due to a rolling admissions program, I still have about 15 weeks of classes to complete land only 10 weeks of clinic shifts to fulfill!

Next year will bring four national board exams, while the next few months will involve intense study.

That being said, I think I would like to pursue an acupuncture career in the field of orthopedic/sports medicine.  Hopefully this pathway will concincide with personal training too.

So I want to turn this blog from  “Yachting Wife” To “Fit Wife,” offering information on health, fitness, recipes and the occasional bit on life.

With that little introduction, October is my FAVORITE month, so hold on to your pumpkins, because I a lot planned.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Life at the Lake

This is where I am:

Indian Lake, Ohio

This is what time I have been waking up:

My day consists of a little bit of this:

3 miles every day, followed by 30 minutes of plyos

Some of this:

Just call him "Duke" from now on.

Not so much of this: 

She has a tendency to abandon board, which leaves me swimming.

And none of this:

Seriously, who can study with the awesome weather and the lake at your back door?!
(which was the whole point of me being at the lake, but c'est la vie when you are dockside)

I am looking forward to these guys coming up on Friday:

Brett's lives in Chicago, and Eric's been living it up in London for the last year.  

For one last family get-together before life gets a little more hectic again. 

I made even splurge and get some of this before the weekend's out: 

In a mini, of course. 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Bikinis and Backpacks

It’s always sad flying from Ohio back to Florida.

I was away this weekend for a friends wedding. 
I didn’t take nearly any enough photos, so I’m stealing this from FB (thanks Julie!), because Michelle looked beautiful.

Her dress is Justin Alexander, one of my favorite wedding designers, who, if I had to do it all over again I would wear this creation: 

About a month ago I was home (funny, how after almost three years, I still consider Ohio home), for this lady’s wedding:

The beautiful Mechs :) 
But I was in Sara's wedding, so this time I got to play “guest” and mingle!  It was so great to see and chat with all my girlfriends.  We are all in such different places in our lives, and some on more different paths than other, but we all come together like old times.

…. Speaking of old times: I ate like old times.  I swear if I still lived in Cincinnati there would be no way for me to be a successful bikini competitor.

Michelle’s wedding featured Cincinnati chili as the main meal (seriously, I love Cincinnati-style veggie chili), and the centerpieces were BonBonerie torts, each table a different flavor.  And finally she offered Graeter’s ice cream

Yes, the chucks of chocolate are that big!!!! 
I was actually pretty good, consuming no alcohol, a small salad and a small veggie two-way, a piece of Lemon Moon cake and about a third of a piece of White Chocolate Romance (possibly my new favorite, hint hint Mom, for my birthday or graduation), and only a scoop of black raspberry chocolate chip.

And none of it I regret.

I have been wrestling with whether to continue competing.

Am I terrified I will gain weight? Yes.
Am I terrified of becoming a quitter? Yes.
Do I like the physical challenge competing offers? Yes.
Do I like the community of women involved in the sport? Yes.
But most important: Is training and competing fulfilling?


Not competing scares me, but maybe I need to open myself up to something new. 

Not only is it not fulfilling, working out is no longer my escape.
Most days, working out is something I have to do.

Now, I’m not saying that I will never walk into a gym again.  But I want to work out for the purpose of a healthy life, not to have 10 percent body fat.

I do enjoy waking up in the early hours beating out a few squats and a run.  The early morning workouts ground me and prepare me for the day.

But with my master’s program almost finished, and four national board exams staring me in the face, suddenly competing doesn’t feel so important anymore.

Competing had its purpose, but even though I’m in the health and fitness field, competing’s purpose lacks substance now.  I don't really want my pro card, and even if I did there is no guarantee that if I looked flawless and more fit every time I step on a stage that I would get my pro card, even after years of competing. And it’s an expensive sport (How expensive?  Quality bikinis can start at $200, most on the pros are a few hundred).

I want to focus on my future outside the gym; both in my future career and in future endeavors.

Competing happened because it was on my bucket list.  I have other items on my bucket list.  
One of them is backpacking.  

I was reading a magazine article about a pair of backpackers who were on Isle Royale, a small island in Lake Superior known for it’s legendary, yet dwindling, wolf and moose populations.  Why so legendary?  Both happened to end up on the island via a 15-mile ice bridge from Canada 60 years ago.  Yet, come 2020, the wolves may be extinct.

The backpackers spend five days hiking and camping on the island, hoping to catch a glimpse of the nine remaining wolves that inhabit the island. While they spent two nights listening to wolves howl in harmony, they spend the following morning in their tent, listening to howls and branches break around them as a wolf (or wolves) were just yards away.  One backpacker was able to snap a quick photo of the wolf as it ran off in the misty morning.  A wolf belonging to a pack that could be extinct in seven years.

Reading the backpackers wolf encounter gave me chills of excitement.

I don’t get chills of excitement when reading Oxygen or FitnessRX (both publications I still love, nonetheless).

I want to climb Mt. Shasta.  

Backpack part of the Appalachian Trail. I’d love to take the Hubs to the Grand Tetons, backpack the Grand Canyon and the Narrows in Zion too.  

The Narrows
Physical fitness is necessary for these trips. Proper nutrition is needed too.  But I would be trading my bikini for hiking boots and two-a-day showers for possible two (or more!) days without one.

And that excites me.

Sunday, August 5, 2012


This is Hubs.

Doing his favorite thing. 
This is Hubs on his birthday.

Morgan eyeing the cakes

… which was July 16

Yes, I threw him a small pirate party...
Complete with Jack Sparrow

I have been busy!

With what?

Oh, you know.


(really, I look more like this:)

Being coming obsessed with this:

Lisa-Marie's body is slamming!

Studying for my one of my final finals.
Seriously, I only have one semester left (that equals four finals).
  for the rest of my entire academic career!

I may have taken a few study breaks ...

... Pinning this:

Halloween and Bengals?!  Represent

To be enjoyed with my bestie when she comes for a visit.

 I literally just got on summer break, and I am already wishing for fall. 

 I do plan on enjoying my late-summer vacation by road-tripping to Ohio to hang out at the lake for a couple weeks.

But fall is my favorite time of year.

Since there is no climate change in south Florida, I can’t enjoy the perks of crisp mornings & sweatshirt weather, so I buy extra apple & cinnamon candles.  Hubs will just have to get over it. 

And once competition season is over, I can't wait to indulge in some caramel apples and hot cider ...
 in the comforts of my air conditioned apartment.