{12 weeks post ACDF Surgery}

Health & Fitness / Me / Zumba

WOW!  I can't believe it's already been twelve weeks since my ACDF Surgery in May! On the one hand it seems like it's been longer than that, but when I look at how far I have come in a short time, it is crazy!

I mentiond that I had been in pain since last November, and it was hard to even imagine what being pain-free would feel like…..well, it feels pretty freaking FABULOUS!  Although, I'm not 100% pain-free yet, I'm pretty close!  And being able to get back to being active is the BEST part!


My x-ray from my first follow up appointment with the neurosurgeon, showing the plates and screws that now reside in my neck:

According to my neurosurgeon, my neck is stronger than ever now.  The part that takes time, is the fusion part, which can take up to a year to complete.  It involves making sure that my new discs (cadaver discs + my bone shavings) fust together with my spinal cord, etc.  I will be going in for follow up x-rays every few months, in fact I go in tomorrow.

I'm hoping to be released to up my exercise a bit, which includes running more.  I have been walking like crazy and slowly jogging a bit, while trying to keep my neck somewhat stable.  No hard core running yet.  I'm not able to go boating, or mountainbiking yet.  Nor am I able to play golf, go on rollercoasters, etc.  What I have been doing is "light" zumba (what is that?), yoga and walking.  Baby steps!  I'm just thrilled to be able to get those endorphines going a bit!  It makes all the difference in the world to me!

PicMonkey Collage
I've had such wonderful support through all of this!  My husband and daughter have been willing to go walking with me anytime I wanted and my Zumba friends all kept me and my family fed during the first few days of post surgery, as well as keeping me motivated to heal and get back to class.  And to those that have sent emails/comments/messages to keep my spirits up…THANK YOU! I am very blessed!

One day at a time!  It's all good!

Happy Thursday friends!  We are so close to Friday and the weekend!


Have you ever had a major surgery that put you out for weeks/months?

What is your favorite way to get fit in the summer months?

For me it's Zumba for sure!






{Kenny Loggins at Red Butte}

Me / Utah

Hello, hello!  Happy Monday!

Can you belive we are in the last few days of July?  Where has the summer gone?  Aaack! 

It's going by too fast!

Well, I've got another item to check off the 2013 Summer Bucket List!  Slowly, but surely I'm getting a few things checked off!  Last week, I attended an outdoor concert at Red Butte Garden with two friends.  If you live in Utah, and haven't gone to a concert at Red Butte, you are missing out!  Such a GORGEOUS venue!

We originally had tickets to see Earth Wind and Fire, but they ended up canceling (what??), so we saw Kenny Loggins, which was fine by me!  I happen to be a HUGE Top Gun fan, like HUGE as in it's my favorite movie of all time.  Love me some Tom Cruise (don't judge)!

"I feel the need, the need for speed"

Anyway, we had a great time!  The concert venue is pretty large and you are allowed to bring in whatever food and/or drinks you want.  Some people get very elaborate with huge picnic spreads!  Love it!  We just picked up salads from Corner Bakery, grabbed some wine and called it good!

The weather was perfect and the music was great!  A little Top Gun and Footloose, thrown in with some old classics!


Another item off the 2013 Summer Bucket List!  Thanks for a fun night girls! 

And thanks for the tickets Arriann! 

Have you been to a summer concert at an outdoor venue?

What is your favorite movie of all time?


{Summer Lovin’}

Favorite Things / Me / Products

 Happy Friday, friends!  I can't believe how fast the summer is flying by! 

 Oh well, at least it's the weekend, right?!

Today, I wanted to share with you a few things I am lovin' this summer! They are mostly new to me finds that I think are pretty fabulous!

1.  Frozen Grapes:  I had never tried to freeze grapes before this summer (what?), and I cannot get enough of them!  I especially love red grapes frozen!  I eat them every morning when I get to work! 

So good! 


2.  Skinny Pop Popcorn:  Have you tried this stuff?  Only 39 calories per cup!  It's the perfect snack in the afternoons, when my work day is dragging.  A friend of mine gave me a bag after my surgery, and I was hooked immediately.  I find mine at Costco.  Try it!

Skinny Pop

3.  Nuun:  I am a recent convert to Nuun!  We have a water challenge at work, and I have a hard time drinking just plain water.  I like Crystal Light and Propel drops, but they almost taste too sweet for me.  I discovered Nuun this summer, and have been enjoying the Nuun All Day Hydration at work, and the Nuun Active Hydration during my Zumba classes and other workouts.  Loving it!  A nice light taste that isn't overpowering at all! And, it's full of vitamins!


4.  Lululemon Headbands:  Lovin' these headbands by Lululemon.  They don't slip off my head or give me a headache when I wear them – either while working out, or just hanging out.  I prefer the medium width or skinny width best. Works perfectly to keep my bangs off my face, and the sweat out of my eyes!



 5.  doTERRA Lip Balm:  If you know me at all, you know I am a Carmex junkie!  It's ridiculous.  I don't leave home or go anywhere without my Carmex.  I have recently discoverd doTERRA Lip Balm, and I love it.  I am trying to wean myself of the Carmex, and I think it's working.  The doTERRA Lip Balm has an awesome flavor, and it really seems to moisturize my lips, rather then dry them out. 

Have you tried it?

So, there you have it!  5 things I am lovin' this summer!  And now some questions for you:

What are you lovin' this summer?

Are you addicted to anything weird, like Carmex?  Please tell me, I'm not the only one!

Have a great Friday y'all!  And a FABULOUS weekend!  Make it a great one!


{A Weekend Away}

Family / Food and Drink / Health & Fitness / Me / Travel / Utah / Vacation & Travel

Hello Friends!  I can't believe we have already finished our second week of July!  The summer is flying by and I can't seem to catch up!!  I hope you had a FABULOUS Fourth of July holiday last week!

I had plans to get several items checked off my 2013 Summer Bucket List over the holiday weekend, and manged to get them done! One of the items on my bucket list was to plan a weekend away.  With the 4th falling on a Thursday this year, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to take a long weekend and get away! 

I had such a fabulous time at The Canyons in May when I was there for the Blend Retreat, that I decided to book a room for the weekend in Park City.  I found a great rate on a room at the Sundial Lodge, and it was beautiful!  Our room was on the top floor and had french doors that opened out on to a nice balacony with a gorgeous view of the whole resort:

Resort View
Gorgeous, right?

After checking in to the lodge, we hit up the mini golf course right at the base of the mountain with Madison and George.

 Mini Golf

It was a lot of FUN, but HOT! HOT! HOT!

The next morning Carl and I were up for a nice hike!  We hit up the Ambush Trail and had a great time!  It was so pretty and the hike was a mixture of full sun and shade, so it wasn't too hot. We did have to share the trail with mountain bikers, which was a bit sketchy at tiimes, but all good!

Ambush Trail

Discover New Hikes:  CHECK!

After relaxing in the room for a bit and a quick shower, it was time to head to the dog park!  My Mom and Brother Kevin brought up our dog Chloe, and my other Brother's dog Cooper for a visit.  They are dog sitting, and since it has been so HOT in the valley, we thought the dogs might like to enjoy the cooler temps in the canyons.  They had a great time!  Playing in the water, chasing tennis balls, other dogs, and each other!

Aren't they cuties?  Despite the huge size difference, these two are the best of friends :)  We all shared a pizza from Drafts on the lawn later that night, and just enjoyed the scenery and company. 

The next morning I was ready to check off another item from the 2013 Summer Bucket List!  Rent Bikes!

We went on a 14 mile bike ride, which included a ride in to downtown Park City, a pit stop at Starbucks (duh!) and ride back over toward the dog park.  There are so many great paved biked trails all around Park City.  I could have biked all day, if my legs hadn't been screaming at me.  Oh and my neck…which took a little bit of jarring, despite being on paved trails. We had such a great time that Carl and I are looking in to purchasing bikes sometime soon!  So much fun!

Starbucks Bikes

Bike Ride

Rent Bikes: CHECK!

The morning had beed really overcast, which was nice since it was still hot.  It was perfect weather to ride bikes, but not so great to sit by the pool! GRRRRR.  We ate lunch in our room, thanks to stopping for some groceries (Trader Joe's) on the way up the canyon.  We grabbed lots of healthy snacks and some salads, so we woulndn't have to pay an arm and a leg for lunches.  It was nice to know we had some healthy choices right at our finger tips!  Love when rooms have mini-kitchens!  The clouds cleared and we were able to spend a few relaxing hours at the pool.  Yea!

But soon enough the clouds rolled in again.  Carl enjoyed a book on the balcony, while I watched the storm move in:
Carl reading


Pretty soon it was a down pour!  I loved keeping the doors open to listen to the rain and thunder!  Summer thunderstorms are one of my favorites!

Dinner that night was at Lorenzo's in Park City.  The food was okay, but the homemade tortilla chips were FABULOUS!  I mean super FABULOUS!  It was like they were twice fried or something?!?!?!  And the salsa bar was great too.  I could have dined on chips and salsa alone, and been a happy girl!

We went back to the lodge for movies and more rain, thunder and lightening! 


I was so sad to see our trip come to and end the next morning.  We had such a great time at The Canyons!  I can't wait to do it again!  Next time I hope to be able to do the Zip Line Course and Mountain Bike on actual dirt trails!  My neck just isn't healed enough yet to try them this time!

Before heading down the canyon to grab our puppy Chloe, we stopped in for breakfast at Good Times Bistro.  I LOVE eating outside during the summer!  Even if it is on our own patio in the backyard!  So any chance I get to eat outside, I take it!

Carl chose the Belgium Waffle, and I had the Egg Scramble with onion, mushroom and avocado!  It was sooo good! 


Dine Al Fresco:  CHECK!

All in all, it was a FABULOUS holiday weekend, and I can't to do it again!

Weekend Away:  CHECK!

How was your holiday and weekend?  What did you do?  Do you have anything planned this weekend?  I'd love to hear about it! 



{2013 Summer Bucket List}


Happy Friday Friends!  It's been a long week, and I'm ready for the weekend!

As I mentioned yesterday, I have put together my 2013 Summer Bucket List:

Summer 2013
There are a few duplicates on this list from last year.  Either things we didn't accomplish, or things I want to do every Summer! 

I've alrady got plans in place for some of these things, and some others might be a bit far fetched, but you never know, right?  Should make for a fun summer! 

Have a great weekend!

What are you looking forward to most this Summer?

Do you have any Summer Vacations planned?


{Summer Bucket List}


Hello Friends! 

Happy Thursday!  One more day closer to Friday, right?!?!?

Last year I posted a Summer Bucket List of all the items/activities that I wanted to accomplish by the end of the summer.  Well, how did I do?  Let's see:

Summer bucket list update 1
It looks like I had 20 items on the list, and managed to check of 10.  50% isn't too shabby, right?

I attended the Farmer's Market, Perfected Iced Coffee, watched fireworks, took Chloe to a dog park, had a picnic at the park, planned a girls night on the patio, and made sangria.  I also attended a Bee's game (no pictures) and hosted an outdoor movie night (I have pictures somewhere!). All in all it was a great summer and I feel like we really tried to make the most of it!

This summer, my activity may be limited a bit due to my recovery from ACDF Surgery, but I've still got a FUN list of things I want to accomplish!

Now a question for you!

Do you have a Summer Bucket List?  What are you most looking forward to this Summer? 

I will post my 2013 Summer Bucket List tomorrow!

Have a great day!




{And We’re Walking……}

Health & Fitness / Me / Zumba

Hello, hello!

So, some of you may remember that I lost a little bit of weight and went on a quest to get fit.  Then again, I have been so sporadic with my blog the last year, I probably don't have any readers out there anymore!  :)  Anyway, you can read about my quest to get fit HERE.  Go ahead check it out…..at least take a look at the photo!  YIKES!  I still can't believe I posted that picture for the blog world to see! 

So, back to my quest to get fit.  I found Zumba and I fell in love with it.  And then I started GPP, along with Zumba and life was good!  Unfortunately, last November life threw me a curve ball, and I ended up having to have ACDF Surgery 3.5 weeks ago.  My activity level has dropped dramatically since getting injured back in November.  For the time being, all I am allowed to do is walk.  Either outside or on the treadmill.  I can also do the elliptical, but that's not really my thing.  I found this great app called Walkmeter, to map my walk, track my distance, and track my calories burned.  I know that it might not be perfectly accurate, but for right now, it is working for me and keeping me motivated!

My walks over the last week:


Pretty consistent, so far!  I guess I need to get walking a bit further!  Ha!  Bottom line is, I am getting out there, counting the minutes, steps, walks, etc. until I am released to get back to Zumba and GPP!

I've got a high school reunion coming up in a few months as well!  Gotta get on it!

Have you ever had an injury setback?  Had to scale back workouts, or stop working out all together?

If so, I would love to hear your story!  Maybe get some motivation from you!?!?!

Happy Tuesday!

now everyone can walk and suck at the same time


{Yelp and Saffron Valley}

Food and Drink / Me / Restaurant Reviews / Yelp Elite Squad

A few weeks ago, I was asked to be a Yelp Elite Squad Member, which I thought was pretty cool!  I have been using Yelp for quite some time, looking for new restaurants/hotels/services to try in my city and when I am traveling, as well as posting my own reviews of places I have visited.

Last week, I was invite to my first Yelp Elite Squad Event. I had the opportunity to try out a new East India Restaurant, Saffron Valley.

Saffron Valley Indian Street Foods
I've tried Indian Food before (basically curry and naan), but had never eaten at an Indian Restaurant, so I wasn't sure what to expect. I have to say I was very impressed!

Saffron Valley is located in the Avenues area of Salt Lake City, in a location that used to house the Pagoda Restaurant. I took my friend Kristyn with me to sample Saffron Valley, since it was my first Yelp Event and I was a bit nervous!  When we arrived we were able to mingle with other "Yelpers" and grab a drink from the bar. The event was held in the lower "banquet room" of the restaurant. It was nice to be able to chat with everyone and get to know people before the food was served. 

{Yelp and Saffron Valley}

 The menu that night consisted of two appetizers to sample, three Entrees, two side dishes and dessert.

We started with a Chicken Tikki Wrap and Dahi Puri. Both were delicious! The portion size of the wrap was very generous! It was a full meal portion, rather than an appetizer portion! The chicken was so tender, and once again I loved the taste of the added cilantro!

{Yelp and Saffron Valley}

 I was also surprised by the light taste of the Dahi Puri. The dish had a light cilantro flavor and the chick peas and yogurt sauce were delicious!  For some reason, when the Dahi Puri came out, I thought it would be a hot dish!  Not at all!  It was like a cold soup.

{Yelp and Saffron Valley}

Saffron Valley has a variety of Kebabs, and I was please with both the lamb and chicken! The chicken was very tender, as was the lamb.  So good!!  I didn't get to try the paneer, but I learned that  it is very easy to make! 

{Yelp and Saffron Valley}

The Naan (leavened flatbread) was served warm and was delicious as well. I am not a huge fan of dessert (I know, I'm weird), but the portion of Gulab Jamun (similar to a donut hole soaked in sugare syrup) was perfect. Just a small portion, that was served warm! It is very sweet (to me), so the small portion was perfect.  For some reason I didn't get a photo of dessert.  My bad!

We also had a belly dancer and henna tattoo artist to entertain us, and a nice raffle of prizes as well. I will definitely be eating at Saffron Valley again in the very near future. If you like East Indian Cuisine, please give them a try!   You won't be disappointed!  They also have a location in South Jordan.

I'm excited to attend more Yelp Events in the future! It was a lot of fun, and I met some great people!

Do you Yelp?

Have you ever tried a restaurant based on a Yelp review?

I would love to heard your thoughts on Yelp!

Happy Monday!







{3 Weeks Post Surgery}

Health & Fitness / Me

Hello, Friends!  Happy Thursday!

Three weeks ago yesterday, I had ACDF surgery.  Basically, I have several bulging discs in my upper back/neck.  The neurosurgeon went in the front of my neck, and removed the bad, dried up discs, and the space was replaced with cadaver grafts, then strengthened with titanium plates and screws.  Crazy, huh?

So, 3 weeks post surgery, how's it going?  Well I am back at work, full time.  I tried to go back after 1 week, but it just didn't happen.  I needed one more day at home.  I was able to work the last two days of the week, but I was so glad for the weekend.  I think I tried to do too much, too soon!

Surgery 1

We did get out to see Daniel Tosh, I was worried I wouldn't be able to sit through a whole show, but it was okay!  And Daniel Tosh? Oh my!  HILARIOUS!  But so, so, bad!  And don't you love my see through shirt (Hello BRA!) ?  Hmmmm….didn't really notice that until the photo.  I'm classy….what can I say!


I've been trying to get as much rest as I can, and I never have to worry about cooking!  I swear, my family and Zumba girls took care of me!  The delicious meals Carl and I had……oh my!   I am so thankful!

My neurosurgeon told me that I could begin walking after a week or so, as long as I felt up to it.  I went on a nice long walk during the second week, but I think it was too soon.  I took the second weekend super easy, wore my neck brace and laid low.  It was well needed! Once again, what can I say?  I'm classy!  Sharpies on my neck collar!  🙂

Neck Brace

I was still having trouble sleeping.  It seems to be the worst side effect of this whole thing.  I wasn't able to sleep much before surgery, and sleeping after surgery wasn't much easier!  It was hard to sleep on my back, propped up with pillows.  I just couldn't get comfortable!  Ugh!

Week three started a little bit better!  I think the weekend of rest, really did me some good! I was able to go on two really nice walks and burn some good calories!  Important, right?


Last night I had to run to Costco for a few things and found this pillow:

And for the first time in months, I could sleep on my side and get a good night's sleep! It was amazing!  I am praying tonight goes just as well!

My follow up appt. with my neurosurgeon is next week.  I am hoping that that x-rays show that my neck is "fusing" nicely and I am on the mend!  This whole experience has been trying!

I hope you all have a happy Thursday, and THANK YOU so much for your support, as I go through this crazy time in my life!




{The Merry Merry Month of May}

Family / Health & Fitness / Me / Zumba

Hello, June 3rd!

Seriously, I cannot believe it is already June!  I'm loving the warm weather though!  Summer is here!  Since I barely posted during the month of May, I thought I would just do a little recap with instagram photos.  If you don't follow me on instagram, please do (I'm alimoll).

Anyway, the month started off with a visit home from my favorite son, Tyson!

Tyson and Me

A bunch of his friends were graduating from the University of Utah the first weekend in May, so he came home for 2.5 days for all of the festivities and parties!  We had a great time hanging out with some pretty fabulous friends celebrating.  It was great to have Tyson home, if only for a short time!

This photo was taken on a Saturday morning in May, a week and a half prior to my neck/back surgery . I woke up feeling so good!  I actually got some sleep the night before and I wasn't in too much pain.  I went for a nice long walk at Sugarhouse Park with some great friends and then out to lunch.  It was nice to feel good enough to get some exercise in!

Sugarhouse Park Walk

We celebrated Mother's Day by having my Mom over for dinner on the patio!  A quick photo of the girls, including our Mal-Shi, Chloe!

Mother's Day

The highlight of the month was being able to attend BLEND with my daughter Madison.  We had such a great time!  Even though I wasn't able to really participate 100% due to my back, it was fabulous to spend time with Madi and meet so many wonderful women!  I came away from the retreat feeling so optomistic about my surgery and getting back to working out and being back to myself again!  You can read about my Blend Retreat Recap HERE.  I am so thankful that I met Janetha and found out about Blend!

Blend Retreat

We were also able to get the patio furniture out, and get some flowers and pots of flowers planted.  I knew I wouldn't be able to do any work in the yard post surgery, so getting it pretty was a priority!  Even though the weather was a bit iffy in May!


Finally, it was Surgery Week.  I have been in pain since last November, and finally realizing that I might be pain free was almost too much to imagine!  I was nervous, a bit apprehensive and scared, but mostly I was excited and optimistic! 

I handled the surgery really well, and immediately felt relief.  My arms and hands had been going numb daily, and the pain in my neck (LOL!) was almost constant.  Waking up from surgery and finally coming out of the anesthesia fog, I could already tell a difference.  It was crazy!  I am almost 2 weeks post surgery and I am doing so much better!  Praise God!  One odd thing – I'm not a real jello lover (except jello shots, holla!)…but I couldn't get enough jello in the hospital.  Every hour throughout the night, when the nurses would come in to check my vitals, I asked for ice chips and jello!  My throat was so sore from the tube down my throat, as well as the agitation from surgery, and jello just tasted sooo good and was so easy on my throat!  I couldn't get enough.  Smile.

Finally, I have to give a shout out to my Zumba friends, who along with my family made sure we were well fed, and I was well taken care of, the week after surgery!  I really am the luckiest girl! 

Zumba Friends
And so the month of May has come to a close.  It was a great month, and I am looking forward to summer and what the month of June holds for me!  I am back to work, and feeling so much better!  I'm not able to exercise much yet, but I have been taking some nice long walks!  Trying to get those endorphines going and burn some calories!

Happy Monday Friends!  And Happy June!  I hope it's a great month for us all!