Tag Archives: Kaizen

Just Another Manic Tuesday!

Bitsy & Gracie sleeping!! Sisters and Besties Forever!! 🙂

Good morning, Beautiful Creatives!

Okay, so maybe it is not quite a manic Tuesday, but the Manic Monday song ran through my head as I was trying to figure out what to title this post…so there ya go! 🙂

My day of taking micro baby steps to be a better me than I was the day before was a success! If I may say so myself!

I’ve decided to keep track of my baby steps in a small, pocket-sized, notebook. That way I have no excuse not to write it down. I thought that this way would also give me an easy, electronic-free way to look back and see how far I have come in my progress!

I just counted and I ended up with 39 things on my list, and a few of those things were:

  • Lunch with Papa Jay and Crystal
  • An afternoon walk
  • Play with the puppies
  • When they did something they are not supposed to, I stopped to remember that they are still puppies!
  • I had a healthy breakfast
  • Purchased enough slim hangers to replace every regular one we have in the house – project closet purge is well on it’s way
  • and climbed in bed early to read…a quick note on this one, I was soon interrupted by pre-bedtime-spazzy-puppies, and reading did not commence. It is dang near impossible to ready with these 2 little hooligans around!! 😉

So, that is just a sampling of how I did yesterday. I think I did a lot of things really, really right, and I still did a lot of things that I can still improve on. As for today, I am going to keep tracking my micro successes, one thing at a time!

HOWEVER, the thing I am most excited about today is that today is the first day of our girls’ puppy training classes!!


and whew, I thought this day would never come!

For the most part Gracie and Bitsy are well behaved girls! Okay, that might be a lie, but I think they try!

Gracie is super friendly, social, and just loves E-V-E-R-Y-B-O-D-Y!!!!

Bitsy, well, let’s just say she has other attributes!! 😉

She is a spazz, is terrified of anyone and everyone, gets really vicious when she plays, and once out of the house she is loooooooooong gone!! She is a wild child that just can not be tamed!! Which is really cool, but also has caused a lot of extra WTF??? commentary in our little household!

I am really hoping that puppy training will help, because we cannot afford to have Cesar Milan come to our home and show us how to let Bitsy know that we are the pack leaders, not her!

She does have her awwwwww moments too, mind you – she is the best car passenger! She loves watching everything happening outside, which is awesome!!

Ooh! My alarm to head out to work just went off, so I have got to zippity-do!! I will let you know how puppy school goes!! Until then…

Here is to a Beautiful Creative Day!

If you want to have a Beautiful Creative life, you have to take beautiful and creative actions!

Starting Anew!

Good morning, Beautiful Creatives!

I have decided that I may be the world’s worst blogger. I never seem to get around to updating my blog, so, instead of dwelling on that, I’ve decided that this morning I will start anew!

I have been asking myself, “how can I improve myself?” This question is something that seems to be following me everywhere I go. I am not sure why, but last night I had a bit of an ah-ha moment when, out of the blue, I reheard something that I have known for a long looooong time! You can improve yourself by taking baby steps every single day to do something – anything – better than you did the day before!

So, that is what I am doing, starting this morning!!

I woke to go pee – now come on, I am pretty dang sure that is the first thing you do every day too!! 😉

The difference for me this morning, is that I told myself I could not play on my phone until I had done two things, brushed my teeth, and did my face skincare routine (which is I guess technically has to be done on a regular basis to be considered a routine!)

I am not sure if this is true for you, but my phone can seriously be a major time-suck in my life!! I great avoidance measure for getting anything of actual great importance done in my day!!

Anyway, I have decided today is the day to change all of that!

So, this morning, so far,

I have…

  1. brushed my hair (working from home, this is not always a requirement, since no-one by my sweetie usually ever sees me)
  2. Brushed my teeth
  3. Flossed
  4. Tongue scraped
  5. Mouthwashed
  6. Washed my face (with more than just water)
  7. Used facial toner (I am not sure I have done that in years!!!) Oh, and this is where I should probably tell you that I have recently gotten new skin care products, because EWWWWWW-GROSS to something I might have used years ago!!!)
  8. Moisturized, down to my neck – yes, something that doesn’t happen too often either, so I am feel rather proud of myself!
  9. Let my sweetie and the girls sleep in a little bit, we all are a little sleep deprived, and anything I can do to help us all stay grump-mode-free is always a good thing!
  10. and now I am blogging!

Did I mention that I have done all of this before 5:30 AM this morning?

Well, yeah, I did! 😉

I am trying to figure out how I want to track my progress, do I want to carry a mini notebook, something that could fit in my pocket, or do I want to track my baby steps electronically? I do not yet know, but I will keep you posted!

I am hoping that I can take just a few moments every morning to journal/blog! I figure I can kill two birds with one stone (man, I really hate that phrase!) and maybe I might be able to share some helpful ideas, insights, or maybe even just give people a reason to smile every morning!

Alright, so there you have it, short and sweet!!




If you want a beautiful creative life, you have to take beautiful creative actions!

A Tired Tuesday Evening!

Good evening!

I think my body is still trying to recuperate from being so sick this last week, because for some reason I am really achy and if I were to close my eyes right now, I would be out like a light!! So, I am going to keep this short! 😉

I wanted to make sure I posted my Kaizen activities for today:

  1. Got up on time
  2. Brushed my teeth
  3. Walked 2 blocks from parking lot to my office
  4. Walked up 3 flights of stairs
  5. Had a healthy breakfast
  6. Tracked my breakfast
  7. Walked down 5 flights of stairs
  8. Walked 2 blocks to lunch and then back again
  9. Had grilled chicken instead of beef at lunch
  10. Requested extra veggies with my lunch
  11. Walked 2 more blocks to get from office to parking lot
  12. Drank about 2 liters of water today
  13. Had some extra vegetables with dinner tonight
  14. Ate an orange for dessert
  15. Started reading a health/nutrition book this evening
  16. Doing kegals while blogging! 😉
  17. Brushed my teeth again
  18. Flossed
  19. Will do a stress relieving meditation before bed
  20. Took some time to stretch before bed

Today was a day about hope, love and gratitude. There have been a lot of stressful things going on in my life, at both work and at home. Today was a day that I chose to change my perspective and focus on all of the blessings that come my way everyday!! There are a lot of things and changes going on at work right now that we are hoping will really help make our jobs more enjoyable, and less stressful. My home is clean, and my husband loves me like crazy, and I love him right back! We have every need taken care of, plus some for helping others with. We are blessed!

We are blessed! We are blessed!
and today, I am just soooo thankful!!!

Before I go for the evening, I wanted to remind you that tomorrow is our Chunky Dunker’s Club meeting!!! I will try and post by 6:30 tomorrow evening! Don’t forget to hop on so I can hear how everyone is doing!! I am excited to weigh in the morning and let you all know how I am doing too!! 20 pounds is the goal!!!! YEAH!! 😉

Have a FABULOUS evening!!! 😉

Sick As A Dog!

Good morning!

Ok, so I am realizing no matter how much you try to take care of yourself, when your body decides to get sick you have no choice but to pay attention!!! So, today I am down and out with a REALLY bad bug!!

This mornings’ post may be really short, but I wanted to make sure that I posted my Kaizen actions from yesterday:

  • Drank a glass of water as soon as I got out of bed
  • Brushed teeth – hey this counts
  • Wore walking shoes to work
  • Did Kegals during breakfast – it was a tiny action and I want to be fit EVERYWHERE!
  • Took a few minutes to stretch before I left for work
  • Ate a healthy breakfast
  • Had a multivitamin with breakfast
  • Walked two blocks from parking lot to office, swiftly
  • Walked up two flights of stairs instead of taking the elevator
  • Tracked breakfast
  • Picked up medication from pharmacy
  • Walked four blocks from pharmacy and back
  • Had a light, vegetable-based lunch
  • Walked 2 more blocks from office to parking lot
  • Took my sick self home from work at noon
  • Took medication
  • Put myself to bed
  • Slept most of the night
  • Drank a total of 6 glasses of water

Before I leave for the morning, I have to give a shout out to my sweetie! I really love that man o’ mine, and I would not have made it through the night without him! He knows what I am talking about!! 😉 I love you, Baby!!

Have a FABULOUS day!!

The Chunky Dunker’s Club, Week 4

Good evening!

Welcome to week 4, of the Chunky Dunker’s Club!!! Can you believe it has been FOUR weeks already??

Every week I post a new Chunky Dunker’s article ever Wednesday evening, and you have the opportunity to comment, and cheer each other as you each go through your journey to get fit and healthy!!! We will discuss hints, tips, and ideas on losing weight, staying motivated, and achieving your fitness goals, whether that is to lose 5 pounds, to do 10 sit-ups, or just incorporate some healthy habits into your daily life!!

Tonight’s topic: Keizen or Constant and Never Ending Improvement!!

At work today, I had an 8 hour class on the Japanese concept of Kaizen (pronouned Ky-zen), which literally means “Good Change”. The basic concept of Kaizen is the idea of making minute changes to your processes to create a different outcome than where you may already be heading. Otherwise, constant and never ending improvement through baby steps!! I LOVE THAT!! I thought that this would be PERFECT to apply to our goal of getting fit and healthy.

I had studied Kaizen as it relates to fitness in the past, and one of the things I had read was, if you are having troubles exercising, do one thing – one small thing, just to get the ball of momentum rolling. This doesn’t have to be a big action, I would actually encourage you to do one VERY TINY action. For me, it is simply the act of putting my tennis shoes on, as if I am going to go for a walk. That’s it! Not the walk, just putting on the shoes for the walk. If today was successful, for tomorrow, I might make it my Kaizen goal to put on my tennis shoes, and then add a 5 minute walk. Nothing too big, or scary!!! I can commit to TINY ACTION!! If today doesn’t work, try something else, but just keep trying ANYTHING!

For some of you I know that you might be thinking that exercise is not an option, so maybe your TINY ACTION might be to raise your arms above your head 1 time! Can you do it twice tomorrow? How about 3 times? If you find that it 3 times is too much, then go back to 1 time, until eventually you ARE able to do it 3 times, 5 times, 10 times, etc!!

You can apply Kaizen to your eating habits too! Maybe today you decide you will have diet soda instead of regular, or maybe you will get really brave and have none! Maybe you can eat one more serving of vegetables than you did yesterday, or maybe substitute one unhealthy ingredient out for one healthy one instead. Do you see what I mean!?!?! We can all DO THAT!! 😉

The idea behind this is that if you do enough TINY HEALTHY ACTIONS every day/week/month you will EASILY be on your way to your most AUTHENTICALLY healthy and fit self!! I fully believe that! I don’t always act on it, but that is what we are all here for – to SUPPORT ONE ANOTHER!!!

This week, my commitment to you, is that I am going to carry a small notebook with me every where I go, and ANY TIME I DO ANYTHING that is good for me, or promotes a healthy and fit lifestyle, I will write it down and share it with you every evening! How does that sound?? I would encourage you all to share any TINY ACTIONS or KAIZEN TASKS that you may be taking any and every day! They will quickly add up, and you will have LOADS of proof that YOU CAN GET FIT AND HEALTHY!!!

I dare you to literally take that FIRST TINY STEP! I would love to hear in the comment section what that TINY step might be!! GO CHUNKY DUNKERS!!!

Before I go, I was hoping to share a health-ified recipe with you this evening. I “borrowed” this off of one of my FAVORITE sites, Eating Well. They have all sorts of GREAT recipe ideas, and I would HIGHLY recommend going out there and checking out their site!!

This recipe is from their article, 10 Spring Diners in 30 Minutes or Less – you know how much Mamma likes getting in and out of the kitchen as quickly as possible!!! 😉

Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Aquavit Seasonings

The seasonings traditionally used to make aquavit—a Northern European distilled spirit—vary with every recipe, but they usually include pork-friendly seasonings like caraway, cumin and fennel-so why not combine the two? This easy, pretty dish is great hot off the grill or made ahead and chilled.

8 servings

Active Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 55 minutes (including 30 minutes marinating time)


  • 2 teaspoons caraway seeds
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • 2 1-pound pork tenderloins, trimmed


  1. Combine caraway, coriander, fennel, cumin and bay leaf in a spice grinder or clean coffee grinder; process to a fine powder. Add salt and pepper.
  2. Place 2 tablespoons of the spice rub in a small bowl. Combine the remaining rub with dill in another small bowl.
  3. Place 1 tenderloin on a piece of plastic wrap. To butterfly it, hold your knife parallel to the cutting board and slice through the meat to within a half inch of the opposite side. Open like a book. Cover with more plastic wrap and gently pound with a mallet or heavy skillet to 1/2-inch thickness. Repeat with the second tenderloin.
  4. Spread half of the dill-spice mixture down the center of each flattened tenderloin. Roll the pork, jelly-roll style, to create 2 long cylinders; tie kitchen string around each in several spots to keep them rolled. Rub all over with the reserved (no-dill) spice rub. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 6 hours.
  5. Preheat grill to medium-high or preheat the broiler.
  6. Oil the grill rack (see Tip) (if broiling, line a broiler pan with foil and oil the foil). Grill or broil the tenderloins, turning several times, until just cooked through and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center registers 145°F, 14 to 18 minutes.
  7. Transfer the tenderloins to a clean cutting board, tent with foil and let rest for 5 minutes before carving into 1/2-inch slices.

Tips & Notes

  • Make Ahead Tip: Prepare the spice rub (Step 1) up to 5 days ahead; store in an airtight container. Cover and refrigerate rolled tender loins for up to 6 hours. If serving cold, grill or broil the pork, cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days. | Equipment: Kitchen string
  • Tip: To oil the grill rack, oil a folded paper towel, hold it with tongs and rub it over the rack. (Do not use cooking spray on a hot grill.) When grilling delicate foods like tofu and fish, it is helpful to spray the food with cooking spray.


Per serving: 130 calories; 3 g fat ( 1 g sat , 1 g mono ); 74 mg cholesterol; 1 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 24 g protein; 1 g fiber; 207 mg sodium; 475 mg potassium.

Exchanges: 3 1/2 lean meat

WOW! I am sorry for the SUPER long posting tonight! YOU KNOW ME!!! Anyway, I look forward to hearing how all of you are doing this week with your health and fitness goals, your thoughts on Kaizen, and if you might try any TINY action tomorrow! and if anyone has just stumbled onto this blog, please feel to join in on the commenting, this is not a closed group!! – THE MORE THE MERRIER!!

Have a FABULOUS evening!! 😉

Recipe Pic, Week 4

30-Day Makeover, Day 2!

Welcome back!

As you may remember we are going through the 30-Day Life Makeover, and yesterday we came up with our dream list that contained everything and anything that you wanted to do, be, have, learn, etc. How did that go? Were there any things that showed up on your list that surprised you?? Did you find the list easy to come up with?

What I would like for you to do next, is to go through your list, and choose the top 5 things that NEED your attentions RIGHT NOW (and for the next 3 months)!!! If 5 is too overwhelming, choose 4, or 3, or 2, or even 1 – just to get the ball rolling. You don’t have to know how you are going to accomplish these top 5 things, but you KNOW that they NEED your attention!!

Your list will look different than mine, but here are my Top 5:

  1. I need to lose 100 pounds, and gain energy, flexibility, stamina, and vivaciousness.
  2. I need a happy, passionate, and trust-filled relationship with my husband, where we both feel like we are being supported and nurtured equally; or I need to leave and find all of that with myself.
  3. I need to have a home that greets me when I come home every day from work, and reflects who I am as a creative, passionate, glamorous woman who absolutely radiates joie de vivre.
  4. I need to have my finances in such a way that all of my bad debt has been eliminated, I have at least 6 months of income stashed away for any emergencies, I have a versatile stock portfolio that will continue to grow no matter what the economy, and I need to be living within my means so as to have money left over to enjoy the good things in life – people, and experiences.
  5. I need to have a career that is honoring to my authentic self; one that is creative, artistic, challenging, fun, and filled with laughter, great people, and one that I am more in control of.

So my short version would be:

  1. Health
  2. Marriage
  3. Home
  4. Finances
  5. Self-employment

Now, when you come up with your top 5, make sure you ABSOLUTELY LOVE your list, because this is going to be a b tool in helping you manage your time for the next 3 months. From now on, this list will be known as your ABSOLUTE “YES” LIST!!!

An Absolute “Yes” List is the list that you will use to decide what you want to be doing at any given moment for the next 3 months, and will help you carve out minutes or even hours out of your week to accomplish what you want.

For example:

Say I just got home from a long day of work, and I really feel like I need to relax, so I plop down on the couch and settle in for a nice long television watching spree. At the end of the night I say to myself, “Oh man – I didn’t get anything done, where has my day gone???”

What would have happened if I would have called on my Absolute “Yes” List?

Same scenario:

Say I just got home from a long day of work, and I really feel like I need to relax, and I ask myself what could I be doing that would be both honoring to my Absolute “Yes” List , and still help me relax? My mind answers my saying, “How about taking a mini walk to unwind (health),  asking my sweetie if he would mind helping me cook dinner with his mad-fantastic cooking skills in the kitchen (marriage), crank up some playful music (home)”, etc, etc. Do you see what I mean??

Now, I am not saying that you have to be “On” all the time, no, girls – we definitely need our downtime, and there are days when a long sit with the tele is the only thing that will hit the spot, but where will that get you if that is your norm?? I know where it has gotten me! And holy crap – I need to go smack my younger self and say,

“Snap out of it – GIRL, you have OPTIONS!!! THIS IS YOUR LIFE WE ARE TALKING ABOUT!!!!”

An Absolute “Yes” List is also something that is VERY helpful for someone like me, where I have challenges standing up for myself and saying “no”. I must confess that saying “no” has been a weakness for me – I swear it is genetic!!!! 😉 I am sure there are a few of you out there who have those same “genes” too. So this is how the Absolute “Yes” List helps me.

When someone asks me to do ANYTHING, I usually say “Yes” without actually thinking about what I want. Do I feel like babysitting a bunch of 4 year old banshees, while all of the other women go get pedicures???? Probably not, but I would say “Yes” and then be kicking myself about it the whole time I was watching those adorable, snot-nosed little tricycle-motors!!! However learning to say “no” is really a gift for both you and the asker, because your friend wouldn’t want to have you resentful towards her because you were the one who said “yes”; and by saying “no” to something you don’t want to do will reinforce to you that your TIME is valuable aka YOU ARE VALUABLE!!!

This is where your homework assignment of bringing some 3 x 5 cards, a mini notebook, a journal, or a pad of paper comes into play. For the next 29 days, including today, I want you to write on one side of a card/sheet of paper your Absolute “Yes” List, and on the other side of the paper, I want you to write the day’s date, and write down EVERY SINGLE accomplishment, action, step that you took towards accomplishing those goals. It could be BIG or little! (I have posted a pic of a sample daily card up above!)

This is called Kaizen!!! Kaizen is a Japanese word that means continuous improvement. No matter how small the action you take to continuously improve yourself, the next day you take the same small step, and the next the same small step, pretty soon you will have created a whole new future for yourself by compounding your small steps, into what will appear to be LEAPS and BOUNDS!!!


I recommend reviewing your Absolute “Yes” List at least once every 3 months, because as you grow/learn/change, your list will grow/learn/change too!

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me in the comments section above, I do check my e-mails throughout the day. I look forward to being of service!

I look forward to seeing you tomorrow for Day 3 of my 30-Day Life Makeover!

Have a FABULOUS evening!!