For the First Time in Forever — Follow Up Friday

small_3397858623Why yes, it has been a while since my last post.  What better way to jump back in than with a “Follow Up Friday” post so I can follow up on previous posts and catch you up a bit on what-all has been going on with me.

First, regarding previous blog post subjects:

  • Hermione the bread starter is no longer.  I had a bunch in the freezer but ended up throwing it out in a big clean-out.  I would like to maintain another starter someday, not necessarily the Amish Friendship Bread, but right now I feel like I have enough other things to take care of!blogging word cloud
  •  I still plan to finish my series about our Barking Mad Harry Potter Weekend because it is still fresh and beautiful in my mind and something I will always remember!
  •  I also plan to finish my series about training for my first 5K.  *Spoiler Alert* – I completed the 5K, in a time I was pleased with, even!  Unfortunately I never did start to like running but for a reason which shall be revealed, last month I completed another 5K AND a Half Marathon!  What the what?!
  • We sold our cluttered house and bought what is pretty much our dream house (not necessarily in that order …).  Lots more deets to follow on all that.
  • Since we moved I haven’t been shopping at ALDI very often
  • I’m not sure where my french Harry Potter book is

In addition:

  • I am now working outside the home part-time as an inventory auditor
  •  I have become a “Hunger Games” fan
  • We adopted two cats, adorable solid black brothers we named Toby and Tolkien, aka The Chocolate Drops.  You can see a picture or two of them on my Instagram and on Crookshank’s (might as well call him by his real name now that we have more than one cat! = Teddy) Twitter account, @Teddy0605.  The kittens are so cute and entertaining that I’m working on a new blog about them that I hope to make live soon.
  • Not to brag, but I have over 1,000 Followers on Pinterest — would love for you to join us!
  • I have a precious nephew, “Teddy Lupin,” who turns two tomorrow
  • Time marches on!  Ron is now 17, Ginny turns 13 next month, and Muggle Man and I celebrate our 25th anniversary this year!

What caused this sudden re-emergence into blogging?  An opportunity to write reviews for a website which required samples of my writing.  I sent a link to my blog, which of course I “keep meaning” to update.  As I looked back over old posts, I came across this one, and it was such a wake-up call and reminder of why I started my blog in the first place (I really should print it out and post it for frequent reference!).  My blog needs me, and I need it!

(All aboard The Feels Train)

feels train

Thanks for checking on me, as always please Tweet me @realmugglemom



(skeleton) photo credit: <a href=””>Mike Licht,</a> via <a href=””>photopin</a&gt; <a href=””>cc</a&gt;

(blogging cloud) photo credit: <a href=””>Kristina B</a> via <a href=””>photopin</a&gt; <a href=””>cc</a&gt;

(Feels Train) added by poxitorium at Zombie Master


Running Red-Faced: Rosacea

Rasacee couperose zones

Image via Wikipedia

I don’t have an official diagnosis of Rosacea, but I learned about it when my mother was diagnosed several years ago and I decided that I probably have it, too.  It didn’t bother me much other than the occasional flushing after drinking a glass of wine.  However, last year as I got into a fairly challenging TurboKick class at my gym, I found myself getting rather red-faced during class.  It would last for a while after class, sometimes for several hours, and sometimes I’d have burning and/or itching and/or tingling on my cheeks throughout the day afterward.  After reading up I started taking breaks during class to wet a paper towel with cold water from the water fountain and wipe off my face and the back of my neck.  This seemed to help enough to keep my face from getting too red, and to keep the effects from lingering.

However, once I started training for my 5K, the problem flared up again (no pun intended!).  Once I started running more than 1/2 a mile at a time, my face would get very hot, beet red, and stay that way for quite a while.  I found a couple of things helped.  One was to choose a treadmill where one of the ceiling fans was blowing directly onto me.  We have a few leftover “chill towels” from one of my husband’s sporting events and I would wet a couple of them and put them in a plastic zipper bag with some ice cubes.  As I started to get warm, I would hold one of these against my face and/or hang it around my neck.  After my workout I would hold one up to my face for a while in addition to washing my face off with cool water.

After my post-workout shower I would lightly moisturize my face with Artistry Essentials Soothing Creme.  According to the Artistry website the creme features:

  •      Exclusive Artistry Soothing Complex featuring Black Bamboo, Licorice, and Blue Lotus Flower to soothe, quiet, and address the visible signs of irritated skin and maintain skin’s normal moisture barrier function
  •             Vitamins A, C, E, and B5 nourish, fortify, clarify, protect and balance skin
  •             Chia and Borage supplement the skin with essentials fatty acids
  •             Works day and night to optimize moisture balance
  •             Ideal for all skin types and safe for sensitive skin

This is a very lightweight cream and I liked the way that it hydrated my skin without feeling thick or greasy or causing any more “trauma” (for lack of a better word for the redness, stinging, etc.).  It didn’t automatically make the redness and discomfort go away but gently applying it did feel soothing.  I’ve been using and selling Artistry products for over 20 years so I felt safe applying this to my face.

Recently I purchased a product called “Ultracalming Mist.”  It is made by dermalogica and I purchased it at Ulta.  According to the label it is “Recommended for sensitized, reactive and recently resurfaced skin.”  It is described as:

A soothing and hydrating mist that quickly relieves sensitivity while helping to calm redness, stingin and aggravated skin. Our exclusive UltraCalming Complex contains Oat and botanical actives that work below the surface to interrupt inflammatory triggers that lead to sensitization, while helping to minimize discomfort, burning and itching.  Oat and Giner actives combined with Bisabolol and Boerhavia Root Extract work synergistically to relieve and restore skin while fighting future flare-ups.  Soothing Aloe helps calm while correcting the moisture level imbalance that can provoke sensitized skin. 

I haven’t been running recently so so far I have just used the mist when I’ve been hot from just being outside, it feels refreshing but I don’t know if it’s really had any “effects.”  I’m planning to start doing some running again, though, so I’ll report on whether or not the mist seems to help.

I hope that this information will be helpful to others who may be experiencing these issues.  I’d love to hear any tips others might like to share, please Tweet me @realmugglemom.

Update – Six Weeks of 5K Training

Piste d'athlétisme à 8 couloirs. Track and fie...

Image via Wikipedia

Week 2, Workout 2 — For the first time, I run outside.  I can’t figure out how long the track is so, since it took me about 18+  minutes to run a mile on Monday, I determine that I will do my 5 minute walking warm up & cool down and in between run for 20 minutes.  It goes well though I do have to push myself. 

My husband buys me some pink KT tape 🙂

Week 2, Workout 3 – Back at the healthclub treadmill

Week 3, Workout 1 – Bump up mileage to 1-1/2 miles.  It is easier and goes more quickly than I had expected, which boosts my confidence.  I feel like I’m doing more “in the zone” running and less “having to push myself” running.  

Week 3, Workout 2 – I decide to run at a track near my house.  This run “felt” like it went more quickly than any other run so far.  I’m not sure if it was the size of the track, the fact that it was outside, or what but I liked it 🙂  The track also has a slight hill at one spot, which I figure is good practice.  My legs did not start to feel tired until the very end.  I forgot to check my watch when I started so I don’t know how long it took me.

As I was doing my cool down walk, noting how long it took me to walk around the track it suddenly occurred to me that I may actually be walking faster than I am running!?  I will investigate this further next time I’m on the treadmill. 

I do feel like the running is challenging, that I’m improving, and that it’s a good workout.  However, I still don’t “like” it. 

Training for My First 5K – Day 1

Treadmill  Workout

Image by sirwiseowl via Flickr

I am training for a 5K that will take place on Saturday, March 19.  I have done the “Couch to 5K” program before and found it very helpful (though I didn’t go all the way through it, I think I got up to at least week 7 of the workouts, maybe a bit further – can’t remember how many total weeks there are).  Before the Couch to 5K program, I pretty much hated running,  just didn’t like it at all.  It’s still not my favorite workout or thing to do but it makes a nice change of pace and since going through that program I *know* that I can run, it really increased my confidence.

This time I am following this program:

This is  six-week program, which is the perfect time frame for me.  You can train using either time, distance, or both.  Since I have a specific distance I want to run (5K!), I’m using the distance program.  Week One says to run 1/2 mile, three times.  Today was my first run.  I think it  went really well.

First I went to a Rep Reebok (free weight) class at my health club, then got on the treadmill.  I walked for 5 minutes, then ran a 1/2 mile at a 15 minute mile pace.  I ran the whole time, no walking.  Walked 5 minutes for a cooldown.  My total for both the walking and the running was 1.03 miles.  I don’t feel like I got winded and I felt good, though I was “feeling” the run in my calves by the end and have the feeling they will be sore tomorrow (or later today!?).

I will need to get a good pair of running shoes.  I wanted to be sure I am really going to do this before sinking the $$ into a pair, though, so for now I am using my Nike Shox cross-trainers.

The other piece of this is that my husband is a runner, he’s really gotten into in the past couple of years and has run several races includeing two marathons.  The 5K is something I’ve wanted to do even before he started running, and I know it’s silly but I don’t want him to think I’m doing the 5K because *he’s* running, if you know what I mean.  I also don’t really want him telling me what to do!  So, for now I’m trying to keep my training on the down low.  Not covering up, but not volunteering info.  I do think he’ll be very pleased when he finds out and I think it will be a nice surprise for him.

I’ll be updating my progress along the way.  Feel free to give me any tips, corrections or encouragement via my Twitter account, @RealMuggleMom.