Five Minute Friday – Race…


The person who crosses the finish line first isn’t always the person who wins the race. Sometimes there are other goals or rules that the runner doesn’t know, sometimes, you have to go around the track a second time. Ultimately, you have to know what game you’re playing to win!

I thought about this while watching a new show – Life after Top Chef. One of my favorite chefs is Fabio – he’s so adorable and the accent is to die for. He said one thing that was poignant. “I never when on Top Chef to win, I went on to be the fan favorite.” And out of all the chefs, he ultimately seems to have the most going on. He’s opened up two new restaurants since the end of the show, starting some sort of drink line, is doing pizza commercials, and I’m sure many other things that he hasn’t mentioned. The others have a restaurant or two, but not increasing at his level.

Why is this important? Because he set his own rules, knew what the long-term game plan was and strove for it. He knew that he may not have been the best chef, but knew that he was going to take his five minutes of fame and turn them into years of prosperity.

In your life, what race are you running? Are you competing with people who will always win? Are you in a race as a mother, wife and four children, while the other runner is a single woman with no debt?

Think about the finish line – then think about how you are going to win this race!

Set your timer, clear your head, for five minutes to just write without worrying if it’s just right or not.

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community..

Oh and Ahem, if you would take pity and turn off comment verification, it would make leaving some love on your post that much easier for folks!

OK, are you ready? In the spirit of welcoming the 31 Dayers to join us, won’t you please give me your best five minutes.

I’m spending 31 days writing about how to write your story.
It’s part of the 31 Days Challenge hosted by the Nester.

Aloha Friday Blog Hop 

Weekend Blog HopAt Home Take 2

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Veggie to Table Challenge – Starts October 18

Starting next Thursday, I’m starting a recipe-based blog hop! This isn’t any recipes though – the focus will be on ways to incorporate vegetables in every meal of the day – Iron Chef style!  Each week, 100lb Countdown will be highlighting one vegetable to incorporate in each meal of the day – Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.

A lot of people would love to eat more vegetables, but just don’t know where to start or how to do it. Most vegetables are steamed or boiled on the side, not incorporated into the dish itself. Got some good ideas? Share them here.

You don’t have to incorporate the ingredient in all of the meals in one day. I will post the ingredient the week before to give you prep time.

Please take pictures and a review and/or reactions from family and/or friends.

I am looking for co-hosts. Please contact me at spiritedlife @ Please email me by Tuesday, October 16 to be a host next week.

1. Grab the blog hop badge below and post it somewhere on your site so everyone can see where you are blog hopping from.

2. Follow the host, yours truly, 100lb Countdown via Twitter, Facebook and/or Networked Blogs. I FOLLOW back and really love all the comments! If you are new, let me know and leave your blog address so I can return the follow 😉

3. Follow at least three (3) people from this blog hop. And by follow I mean leave a nice comment on their blog post. Please don’t just leave a “Stopping by” or “Follow me” comment. Let the blogger know that you actually spent a few minutes reading their blog. If it is not interesting to you, simply move on and find a blog you truly want to read.

4. Just have fun!

Veggie to Table Challenge Logo


Week 1: Cauliflower

Veggie to Table Blog Hop

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Feeling Welcome

I don’t feel welcome. I don’t feel welcome a lot of places. I feel like I push myself into situations where people have to accept me, at least in a limited way.

It probably stems from not feeling welcome at home. After my mother got remarried, my stepfather was a joy until he had his own children. Then I became an extra. I no longer felt that it was my home, but it was their home, their family home, and I was just a visitor. I hated it. I hated being within the confines of the house. I felt like I didn’t belong, it wasn’t meant for me.

Now, I feel the opposite. I have built my home, chosen my husband, birthed my children. My husband has been my saving grace, his love, support and honesty has kept me going. On days that I feel like I shouldn’t be around, I was there.

I remember a time before we married and after an argument or during one, I can’t remember, but I ran away. Not ran away in the teenage sense where I packed up and tried to move out, but I left, for hours on end, without letting him know when I’d return.

When I finally did, he said something to me that I didn’t expect. He said “You can’t run away and expect me to be waiting when I return. If we are going to work, you have to stay here.”

I’ve never run since – at least not physically – and he welcomes me into his arms every night. He is welcoming.

Want to play along?

Set your timer, clear your head, for five minutes to just write without worrying if it’s just right or not.

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community..

Oh and Ahem, if you would take pity and turn off comment verification, it would make leaving some love on your post that much easier for folks!

OK, are you ready? In the spirit of welcoming the 31 Dayers to join us, won’t you please give me your best five minutes on:

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10 Day Challenge: Four Books

This is the hardest one for me… I used to read a LOT. Now, I can’t push myself to finish one book. But, here we go… 

Four. Outliers

I’ve literally been reading this book for about two months. It’s not that long or hard of a read and is quite interesting. I need to sit down and finish it. Outliers is about how people become successful and how that hard work is a factor, but success can depend on a variety of factors outside of your control – not just being handed money, either. It’s a really good read.

Outliers: The Story of Success

Three. Not Taco Bell Material

I’m an Adam Carolla fan. I really liked his last book – In 50 Years We’ll All Be Chicks. It’s just a fun read with lots of interesting stories, with a few jokes tossed in.


Two. The Girl Who Played with Fire

A good friend recommended this to me. A crusading journalist and publisher of the magazine Millennium, has decided to run a story that will expose an extensive sex trafficking operation between Eastern Europe and Sweden, implicating well-known and highly placed members of Swedish society, business, and government. But he has no idea just how explosive the story will be until, on the eve of publication, the two investigating reporters are murdered.Sounds good, right?

The Girl Who Played With Fire (Millennium, #2)

One. The Book Thief

Another recommendation. Set during World War II in Germany, Markus Zusak’s groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement before he is marched to Dachau.


April’s to-read book montage

Sarah's Key
Last Chance to See
The Shawshank Redemption
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
The Girl Who Played With Fire
The Stand
The Book Thief

April’s favorite books »



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The Many Keys of Baby Raising

Seems every parent knows that having a child means that you have an automatic magnet for your keys. My daughter loves my keys, digging in my purse to get them (or my wallet, both signalling my future as a mother of Ms. B).

Well, last week, I was out with the wonderful Ms. B. As I’m sure other babies will attest, she finds her car seat limiting to the amount of trouble she can get into.  That leaves two options for me – a high chair or my arms. Although I love holding my precious baby girl in my arms, I also like to eat in as much comfort as humanly allowable – who doesn’t like to sit her car seat, but rather a high chair and enjoys playing with my keys.

During my lunch became a game of “Pick my Keys Off of the Floor in Between Bites”. Ms. B was well entertained by the “game” she started, laughing each time as I bent down to pick up my keys. After the third time, my girlfriend (who was with me at lunch) suggested I get a retractable key chain. What? I asked. A retractable key chain so that they can throw it, but you don’t have to bend over to find or pick up your keys. It was the PERFECT suggestion! So this is what I bought:

It is the best invention ever! Well, not EVER, but all I do is clip this to her clothes and she can play for minutes (I really wish it were hours) without dropping it on the floor or screaming or crying and whatnot. She was so happy to have it connected to her and kept trying to pull it and it just pulled away and snapped back!

What’s even better is since I keep this device on my keys, I never have to fish in my purse when trying to carry baby, baby bag, purse and whatever else I try to put in my arms. I take it out of the ignition and clip it to my collar – pull it when I get to the door. Works so well for keeping my hands free and getting in and out of the house easy.

What tips do you have to keep your babies entertained in a restaurant?


This week’s Link’N Blogs!

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Sixteen Pounds Eleven and a Half Ounces

I’m pleased to report that Ms. is back into the 25th percentile! The background story is here. Yay!

At first weekly, now monthly, I go to the doctor just to get her weighed. I need to make sure that she’s a-okay. At one point she was as low as the 5th percentile. I’m happy that she’s still growing and growing big!

Today, she had her first pizza crust. She gummed it down to nothingness.

The only issue that I’m having with Ms. B is that she is so interested in EVERYTHING, she hates going to sleep. Putting her to sleep is a struggle, plus I think she’s teething. What ends up happening is that she needs to be breastfed to go to sleep. So, a tired, irritated baby girl wants to breastfeed. PAINFUL!

She’s 9 months old now. I would love to stop breastfeeding, but at this age, she still needs to eat at night. I will probably wait until she turns one before I stop. Am I crazy?




Aloha Friday Blog Hop

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10 Day You Challenge: Six Places

Today is all about places that I want to go. This is actually harder than I thought. I figured, I could pick some vacation places, and that’d be it. Choosing six places to go can be more than just the superficial. Enjoy!

Six. Anchorage, AL

I’m not sure why, I just always wanted to see what Alaska had to offer. I love cold weather, so it’s definitely a place for me to be.

Five. Seattle, WA

Went to Seattle when I was in college. It’s the number one place that I’d want to live if not in California. It rains 9 months a year and for most people, that would be a turnoff, but I would welcome it. The greenery, the city life, it was just so much fun to be in.

Four. DisneyWorld, Orlando, FL

With all of this, need I say more?

Three. The White House, Washington D.C.

Not a tour, I want an actual visit. I would like to meet the President and the First Lady. I would like to go to a White House dinner. I would like to ask the President some hard questions – regardless of who’s in office/

Two. Paris, France

I have family in France, and it is the city of love. I went once when I was a teenager and completely fell in love myself. I would love  to return as an adult and get a different view of the land. Actually my favorite city was Nice, but since I have my hubby and kids, they have to see le Louvre and la Tour Eiffel. I took some beautiful pictures of EVERYTHING, even before digital, but alas, they were lost many years ago.

One. Haleiwa, HI

As I mentioned last week, my best friend lives in HI. I miss her and her family dearly and one of these days, she’s supposed to show me how to surf!


You can still work out on vacation:

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10 Day Challenge: Seven Wants

As I cruise the internet through other blogs, I’m finding some open ended questions. I realize that I don’t really share a lot about myself on this blog, although I’d like to, so I’ll be doing more question and responses on here.

I’m coming in a bit in the middle of this challenge, and maybe I’ll come back to them at the end, just to complete it. But, for now, I’ll start with Seven Wants.

1. New Car

Both of our cars are paid off and I’m very comfortable with that fact. Sometimes, I just want a new one, I envy those with the latest and greatest. But I know that I’m sacrificing for a larger goal – debt freedom. But as soon as I get there, this is the car I want! BMW X3. I will get there!

2. New Refrigerator

This is probably a need, since it’s leaking, but it’s on my wants list because it’s still functional as a refrigerator, as we’ve been using it. I love this one from LG.

3. Go to Hawaii

I have seen my best friend in ages. She has her own struggles and children and I have mine, but who can turn down going to Hawaii for a vacation!


4. KitchenAid Mixer

I don’t bake, but this mixer seems like it will make life easier. I use all of my appliances, so I know this will get good use.


 5. Maid Service

I have a newborn… need I say more?


6. Indoor Pool

I love swimming and I’d love to have a pool that I can actually swim laps in.


7. Happy Healthy Children

Need I say more?


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Fill in the ____ Friday

  1. Over this Labor Day weekend, I will be working on my website and getting in a date night with hubby.
  2. With the political debates going on right now, my thoughts are that I wish that we could get a real political candidate that spends more time telling us what he’s going to do right than what the other person did was wrong.
  3. Today, my plans got all screwed up. I thought I had a couple of hands to help around the house, and that didn’t happen and now I have some errands to run. C’est la vie d’une mere.
  4. The best thing I’ve cooked recently was pan-fried fish lightly covered in crushed croutons, fried in bacon grease with a side of mixed vegetables. Hubby said it was awesome!
  5. The last thing I bought was a great pair of DKNY shoes from Macy’s. I was in desperate need of flats and hadn’t been lucky in finding any. My feet are incredibly narrow for the size (9 or 10) and I finally got it at a clearance for $16!IMG075.jpg
  6. The best movie I saw this summer was mmmm, did I go to the movies this summer? I can’t recall seeing any movie this summer, so I doubt it.
  7. The best book I read this summer was ummm, read is past-tense. I’m in the midst of reading Outliers and have been for the last two months, which constitutes the summer, right?

Link up!

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