An eco-conscious, lifestyle blog by Tampa, FL mom Jenny Hodges,who lost 212lbs and is keeping it off thru healthy family living, creative cooking, and CrossFit

15. July 2014 16:01
by jennifer

Happy 9th Birthday, Ella

15. July 2014 16:01 by jennifer | 0 Comments

Dear Ella,

Yesterday you turned 9 years old. NINE. I apologize that I didn't get your letter up in time, but we were on Jekyll Island, I broke my phone, and well, you were there, so I don't need to explain.

I'm so proud of the little lady that you became this year. This was a big year for you. I watched as you grew not only physically, but mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

Physically you grew like 4 inches and you are now about "*" this close to being taller than your older sister. You also gained nearly 10 pounds this year!! You are long, and lean, and fast, and strong.

Mentally you are as smart as a whip, and you really got into computers. You impress the heck out of me and your dad, and we hope that you love your brand new computer that we got you for your birthday. You did so well on your 3rd grade FCAT test, earning a near perfect score in reading/writing, and just a point off in mathematics. So proud.

Emotionally you have always been a gentle, kind soul. But this year we've watched as you have become even more kind not only in regards to animals, but about people and the tragedy that you see going on around you. You keep asking for world peace, and I hope that it happens in your lifetime.

Spiritually you have really begun to question "why" and "what if." Why are we here? Who made us? Is god real? What if there is a heaven? What if there isn't?

I don't have the answers for you Ella, but I will continue to guide you on your path.

Happy 9th Birthday, Ella. I love you so much!



Photo taken on Jekyll Island, GA on 7-14-14, Ella's 9th birthday. Cool

9. July 2014 05:51
by jennifer


9. July 2014 05:51 by jennifer | 3 Comments

Tariq Abukhedir is a former student of mine. I used to be the librarian at Universal Academy of Florida, a private Islamic school in Tampa, FL. I was shocked, sickened, and horrified when a former co-worker posted a photo of Tariq badly beaten on her Facebook page. This was someone's child, he lived in Tampa, and that alone made me upset. At first I did not realize that I knew him, because he was unrecognizable. I knew the name, but honestly I know a lot of Tariq's and I know a lot of Abukhedir... [More]

6. July 2014 11:33
by jennifer

Weekly Workouts, and Kettlebells June 29-July 5

6. July 2014 11:33 by jennifer | 3 Comments

My new favorite term is "jacked up." As in: My knee is jacked up. My foot is jacked up. My hands are jacked up. Urban Dictionary defines "jacked up" as: 1. not working properly or as intended. 2. having used a large quantity of speed, cocaine, or other amphetamine. 3. cut or lacerated by means of a make-shift knife or blade. see SKIV 4. In generally poor or injured condition. In my case, I'm referring to numbers 1, and 4. My Plantar Fasciitis, while getting better is still causing me issues. I b... [More]

2. July 2014 14:03
by jennifer

Weekly Workouts, dealing with an injury, and other stuff June 22-28

2. July 2014 14:03 by jennifer | 4 Comments

Wow. What a week it was. My girls left for summer camp on Sunday June 22nd. They were gone for the entire week!! They were so happy when I dropped them off! They couldn't wait for all the Girl Scout fun to begin!! I did miss them while they were gone, but it wasn't all peaches and cream for Miss Ella while she was away. She lost part of her braces, and she also got pushed by one of her fellow campers because she was annoying. She ended up with a big bump behind her ear, and still now, 4 days l... [More]

1. July 2014 18:47
by jennifer

BreathSlim Deep Breathing Exercises for Sleep Stress Relaxation & Weight Loss

1. July 2014 18:47 by jennifer | 0 Comments

In mid June I received the Breathslim Health and Wellness Respiratory Trainer.  I was very curious about this product. I train my muscles, including my heart, but was I properly training my lungs? Was I breathing properly? Was there room for improvement for me to expand my lung capacity? Living a clean and natural lifestyle is of utmost importance to my family, and breathslim is drug free and is totally BPA Free. In fact breathslim uses only 2 things to work: air and water. The BreathSlim... [More]