Thursday, March 29, 2012

New Year’s Resolutions need a boost?

Get Back on Track using these great websites for encouragement!

Tips from Blogger Janice Croze on an interview with ABC channel 7:

Use websites for encouragement and great information:
For Diet Motivation: - Real women challenging themselves.  There to help each other.

For Exercise Motivation:
Dr. Keri Paterson, editor of was interviewed on NBC and suggests putting your exercise dates into your calendar 4 times a week and keep them like you would a date with a friend-you!

Encouraging great and healthy food: – focused on traditional foods – gluten free and so good her husband will eat it!

Getting Organized: – tips on everything.  The fitness section has an article called “ 7 Workouts for People with No Money (Free Sweat!)” - De-clutter and simplify your life.

Saving Money and budgeting: – Where Financial Nerds are Cool.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Design Your Own “In Town” Spring Break (Part Two)

Design Your Own “In Town” Spring Break:  Inspiration from the Top 10 Hot Spots (Top Five)

#5 Tampa/St.Petersburg, Florida  

Most Popular Attraction: The Salvador Dali Museum 

This important collection of surrealist works is located in a building that is as interesting as the art.
Hometown break suggestion:  There is probably a quirky museum in every corner of the USA.  What is in your hometown?  I know where the ball of twine is in Minnesota, but I’ve also been meaning to visit the collection of rare Asmat art a local college – it’s on my spring break list.     
# 4. New York City, New York

 Most Popular Attraction: The Empire State Building

Iconic Landmark with incredible views day and night.  Even jaded New Yorkers love it.  Avoid waiting in the ticket line by buying your tickets online in advance.

Hometown break suggestion:  What is the highest point in your town?  If it’s public, just go and enjoy!  If it’s private, why not contact the owner and see if you can visit?  If it’s a hill, think about going at night to see the lights, the stars, or the migrating birds as the navigate themselves northward by the light of the the moon.    

# 3. Las Vegas, Nevada

Most popular attraction: Bellagio fountains

People stare at lots of free shows outside the hotels, but there's only one worth going to: the
Bellagio fountains. Every half-hour between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m., and every 15 minutes from then 'til midnight, an 8.5-acre lake in the middle of the desert explodes with 1,214 spritzers shooting water up to 460 feet in the air — the water rockets and dances, perfectly choreographed to Frank Sinatra or Gene Kelly or "One Singular Sensation" from A Chorus Line. And yet, for some reason, it doesn't feel all that gay, which is quite a feat.

Hometown break suggestion:  Find all the fountains, big and small, public and private, in your hometown.  Do a daylong fountain tour.  Bring pennies where allowed to make wishes. 

#2 Orlando, Florida
Most popular attraction: Florida Springs

Florida has more than 700 springs. They bubble up through the Florida Aquifer, an underground limestone formation.  Clear, cool, and fun.  Kayak, swim, relax and enjoy.

Hometown Break Suggestion:  Rent a canoe, bring a picnic and launch into whatever water formation your area is famous for.  There’s just something about being near fresh water! Be sure to pack a Junonia swimsuit.

#1 Miami Beach, Florida

Most popular attraction? South Beach

South Beach is the quintessential Miami hot spot. From shopping to partying, this trendy area of Miami Beach is well-known for its art deco revival architecture. 

Hometown Spring Break suggestion:  What architecture is special in your area?  Just Google your hometown + architecture.  I’ll bet you’ll find enough for a full day of exploring!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Design Your Own “In Town” Spring Break

Design Your Own “In Town” Spring Break:  Inspiration from the Top 10 Hot Spots

It’s officially spring!  If you didn’t have the chance to get out of town on a spring break, maybe you aren’t all that excited.  So here’s some spring break inspiration.  We took a list of the top 10 spring break locations, then checked what attraction in that area was ranking #1 with visitors on various websites.  Surprisingly, sitting on the beach never made it to #1, but quirky events, top-notch museums, architecture, animal experiences and zoos did!  We hope these wonderful attractions will inspire you to find some wonderful things in your own area.  Have a wonderful spring break without ever leaving town!

# 10. Phoenix/Scottsdale, Arizona

Most popular attraction:  A dude ranch experience

There’s nothing like getting on a horse and playing cowboy or cowgirl to bring out the inner child. 

Spring break suggestion:  There is something relaxing about getting up close and personal with an animal.  Check out the riding stables in your area.  Many are expert at making adults feel comfortable.  Take a lesson, or a few.  Get to know a horse.  If horses aren’t your thing, think about spending some time volunteering to walk the dogs at the animal shelter.  Or walk a pet for a shut in.   

# 9. Honolulu, Hawaii 

Most popular attraction:  Bishop Museum

Bishop Museum was established in 1889 to preserve and share the natural and cultural history of Hawai‘i and the Pacific. Today, Bishop Museum houses and cares for over 24 million historical, cultural, and natural treasures. Each item in the collection has its own, special story to tell. These 24 million stories trace the history and cultures of the peoples of Hawai‘i and the Pacific, and help us to understand our unique island universe.

Hometown Springbreak suggestion:  Explore the History and culture of yoru own area.  If you don’t have a museum, you probably have an elder in area who can tell you stories and direct you to little-known places of historic interest.   Start with your county historical society.  Finding a guide to take you on a custom tour is a blast. 

# 8. Daytona Beach, Florida

Most popular attraction: Bike Week

Bike Week is a little less of a celebration of the bikes themselves and more of just the general biker culture. At first, I was like, "Oh, ***! We're going to be here during bike week!", but I actually enjoyed it quite a bit. The bikers were friendlier than I thought (never judge a big, sweaty, leather-clad book by its cover), and they were actually a lot of fun to be around. The only problem with Bike Week was the noise and the crowds, but it was worth it for the experience. Check the website for scheduling and stuff.

Hometown break suggestion:  Does your town have an interesting sub-culture you could get to know?  St. Paul has an amazing Hmong covered markets that are really friendly and fun.  How about Irish dancing?  Community newspapers are great for finding these gems in your hometwon. 

# 7. San Diego, California

Most popular attraction: Sea World

Everyone knows who the main attraction is here: Shamu, the killer whale (orca) - or over the years, a succession of Shamus. Shows are central to the Sea World Experience and you’ll also have opportunities to see marine creatures close up. In a few cases, you can touch and feed them.   We always have more fun at Sea World than we expect to.  Everyone else's happy mood is contagious - and besides that, the place is clean, well run and the animals are interesting.
Hometown Spring break suggestion:  Visit the closest zoo!  You never know what animal will make you laugh. Bring a kid along so you can act like a kid.  Don’t hurry.  Linger. 
# 6. Cancun, Mexico

Most popular attraction:  Swimming with dolphins
On Isla Mujeres and several other places in the Cancun area you can swim with dolphins. Then go snorkeling with tropical fish, rays and tame sharks, and don’t miss the wonderful sea turtles!
Hometown break suggestion:  This is a tough one.  The closest I can come is to visit the closest aquarium and then go jump in a swimming pool with a foam noodle and just enjoy floating!  If you don’t have an official aquarium, check out the local fish store and ask the usually enthusiastic staff to tell you about those beautiful fish.  Consider creating a sustainable fish tank yourself!    

-Come back soon to find out the top five spring break locations-

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Anne's 5k Blog #2

A few ups and downs this week.  The best thing?  Getting up and out of my desk chair to walk 3 times at  lunch last week.  I’m hoping to make it a habit.  What do they say? That it takes at least 21 times to make a habit?  I’m working on it. 

I really love walking –once I get outside.  I have clocked a couple of distances with the car, a quickie 1.5 mile to the local SuperAmerica convenience store, and a longer one that is a perfect 5K.   The weather is getting so beautiful, and birds are starting to migrate through. 

To help me say “yes” instead of “no” to walking I’m keeping my shoes and extra socks in my desk so I don’t have to pack them in the morning.  Also I have a hat with a big brim because I just hate to walk with the sun in my eyes.  To motivate me further I have explored the healthy food options at SuperAmerica.  Limited, yes, but a few good things:  hard boiled eggs, string cheese, yogurt, apples, bananas, oranges, decent granola bars.   Somehow when I’m in the middle of a walk I make better food choices. 

But it’s really hard to eat healthy at convenience stores.  Any other ideas out there?

Unfortunately I caught a 24 hr bug this week.  So I’m behind on actual running.  (This blog is certainly putting on the pressure!)   I did a really hard boot camp workout on Saturday and was really sore!  I think it was because I was getting sick.  I haven’t had that happen in a long time because I am definitely not hard core.  I work hard but don’t try to go over the top--but I apparently did!

Tonight I’m planning to walk to the gym, where I can use the sauna -- my reward.   If I feel good I’ll do a few blocks of jogging or skipping.  But I’ll remember to warm up those shins-- and I won’t go over the top!  

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


I think there are two parts to building up self-confidence.  The building requires setting goals and achieving them.  The second part is protecting yourself from anyone who might want to take away your well-earned self-confidence.

Setting Goals
Self-confidence doesn’t come in pill form.  It comes from actually doing things.  Taking the first steps can be scary, and sometimes the phrase “Fake it ‘til you make it” can help.  Put yourself out there, and you’ll soon see your self-confidence increasing.  Start with small things, and work your way up to your dreams.  Do you want to build your self-confidence even faster?  Help someone else increase theirs!  It’s a win-win.

Protecting Your Self-confidence
Self-confidence is a very important part of being an effective human.  It is not selfish or arrogant.  Self-confident people rarely whine. It is really nice to be around self-confident people. Self-confident people get things done.   

However, I have to admit there are some jealous and bullying types who take as their mission in life tearing down the self-confidence of others.  So protect yourself from these controlling types.  Be aware they exist, and that they do this to everyone—NOT JUST YOU.  Get away from them. 
If you must interact with these unfortunates, set your rules: 
“I do not tolerate abusive language.”
“My workout time is sacred, I must leave at 5.”
Do not engage in useless arguments.  Find other self-confident people to support you in positive ways.  Don’t let the bully make you cringe; stand up tall, look them in the eye and state your position.  Well-done! 

This blog post from Junonia was created for Moms on the Run, a Minnesota-based organization about Fitness, Fun, and Friendship with 5k training classes for runners, intermediates and walkers. Check out the organization at

Tips from Anne Kelly, President of, specialists in plus size active and casual clothing. 

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Do super-intense circumstances bring out the best in you?

I have to read Doonesbury each day in the paper, so I sometimes glance over at the horoscope section as well.   Yesterday’s advice was this:

“There’s an old Southern saying that a frog doesn’t know how far it can jump until it is kicked.  Super-intense circumstances always bring out the best in you.”

Many of us are feeling a little “kicked” these days, by the economy, by our work situations, by the international struggles, by life’s disappointments. 

But this quote got me thinking that BEING kicked may be a fact, but FEELING kicked is a choice.  If I think back to some of my most satisfying times in life, the truth is, they started with a kick I certainly didn’t want!  
My story about being “kicked” was when I transferred schools to Canada as an undergrad.  I was promised I could complete within two years.  When I showed up on campus, they reneged on that promise and said it would take 3 years to complete.   I sure didn’t want to tell my parents I would need another year of college!  Luckily tuition didn’t increase if I took extra classes, so I took a LOT of classes in two years instead of three and graduated on time.  And it turned out to be a fabulous two years, where I took everything in sight!  It was hard, busy, and I didn’t make straight A’s.  But I got a fabulous education I would never have experienced without that kick! 

I’ll bet if you look back on your life, you have a story like mine, when something bad happened and you somehow took that kick and propelled yourself into something amazing.

If we can accept a kick as propulsion, and not let it get us down, just think about the places we will go! 

I’d love to share your stories!  Email me at!  

Friday, March 2, 2012

Mother’s Day 5K – Starting Training

I can’t believe it is March 1st!   Yesterday I inadvertently started my training to run the Susan Komen 5K Mothers Day, May 13th, at the Mall of America here in Minnesota.  Since it was leap day, it sort of seemed appropriate that my workout buddy and I messed up our schedules, and I ended up working out by myself on a treadmill. I “ran” a grand total of 4 minutes, walking the rest.  Well, it’s a start! 

Starting out – yet again!  I’m a perpetual beginner.  I mostly walked last year and had a really nice time with the friends and family who came along to support me.  I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008.  I have done extremely well, and feel I am very, very lucky.  I did make a pact with myself when I was diagnosed to do something active every day.  And since 2008 I have done that.  I swim, sometimes I do the treadmill, elliptical, or rowing machine.  I like to walk outside as much as I can.  However, I have finally accepted that if I am going to do any weight work I need to support and organization of a trainer.  I just don’t do it on my own.  I share a session once a week with one friend and do her boot camp with another--at 7:30 am on Saturday mornings. (That time nearly kills me, but I love the feeling after!) 

Just as an aside, from the research I have done, the best thing a woman can do to prevent a recurrence of breast cancer is to be active.  The percentage improvement beats everything, including weight loss and diet change, although those are great ideas, too!  No one knows exactly what causes breast cancer, but we DO know it will affect 1 in 7 women.  Not to mention all the people surrounding them. 

So yesterday I started “running.”  First thing I noticed was my shins complained right away.  I forgot to warm them up – a big no-no.  I stopped immediately, sat down, and wrote the alphabet with my feet.  That helped.  I also did NOT do more than a few minutes of running on this first try.  I knew if I did I would regret it.  Nothing is worse than shin splits.  They take forever to clear up. 

Tonight I’m going to fast-walk to a dinner date I have instead of driving.  I’ll walk fast, but won’t run, although I may throw in some skipping to get a few different muscles alerted to my new goal. I’m a little nervous because I’m at least 5 pounds heavier than last year.

As I watched my pace on the treadmill, I reminded myself that I will NOT set any time goal for my 5K.  My goal is to run most of it, walking if I need to, and to have a great time.  Your goal may well be more ambitious than mine, and I say go for it!  At the Komen event there are all these volunteers out there cheering people on.  There are several “survivor corners” where they give hugs to survivors.  I don’t want to miss any hugs by worrying about a time!

Next step:  I want to check out some of the training programs online for ideas for the next 10 weeks.  I’ve never done that before.  I’ll let you know what I find!