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Aloha 'Oe

Thank you for joining us on our blogging Adventure

Rani, Risa & Roxy

CrossFit @ 4 Years


I feel very reflective this year on my four years at CrossFit.  When I started in 2011 I could barely swing the 15 lb kettle bell, now I can snatch 100lbs.  That seems like nothing short of a miracle for someone with zero athletic background and who had never touch a barbell.  I still don’t quite believe or understand it.  I can list a bunch of things that helped: hard work, good coaching, smart programming and a supportive community. It certainly wasn’t easy and there were definitely moments of fear, failure and tears.  But the success and improvements made them all worth it!

Yet despite all of this progress, I have to admit I am just okay at CrossFit.  No matter how much effort and energy I throw into it, I am never going to be a CrossFit competitor.  My will is greater than my skill and it is frustrating.  That is why after The Open this year, I decided to do a strength program and focus on oly lifting.  This is the one area I have been more than “okay” at.

So I did a 6 month oly lifting program. Then my CrossFit started a barbell club and there was even more oly lifting happening. Then a few people did an oly lifting competition and the next month I did 2 competitions.  It is amazing how something just fall into place- timing and opportunity. I love oly lifting and it seems to love me back, in a way CrossFit never has.

I guess the reason I am feeling especially reflective about my CrossFit anniversary is because my time with CrossFit might be coming to an end.  The thought of not doing CrossFits makes me sad.  The CrossFit experience has transformed me physically, mentally and emotionally into a better and stronger person.   Because of CrossFit, I have been willing to try other things- yoga, running and weightlifting.  It has also made me a calmer and kinder person.  I would have never touched a barbell without CrossFit.

I am going to spend a couple of months really focusing on oly lifting.   Actually, I am going to try to do both-  oly lifting and some CrossFit and I hope it works out.  But if not, I may have to choose.  That is scares me, but pushing boundaries and comfort zones is what CrossFit has prepared me to do.

Here is a blogging history of my years at CrossFit- every year I say the same thing: CrossFit makes me a better person.

CrossFit @ 3 Years

Crossfit @ 2 Years

CrossFit @6 months


Reflection by Rani

Reading Reviews- October 2015

Reading Reviews- October 2015

Happy October!  Last year, I took a stance again Pumpkin Spice everything, but this year I decided to embrace it.  When I say embrace it, I mean in home décor and candles- I am still not eating pumpkin spice anything!  I have been loving the cooler weather.   It makes me want to drink tea and snuggle up with Roxy and a good book. Here are this month’s reads:

13 Things Mentally Strong People Do by Amy Morin

This book was packed fully of information.  It felt like each chapter could have been its own book. Frankly, I was overwhelmed and found myself skimming and completely stopped reading about half-way through. I almost think there should be a quiz you take at the beginning of the book, so you know which of these things you do and then skip to that chapter.

Life and Death by Stephenie Meyer

I got sucked into buying and reading this Twilight Tenth Anniversary special- and I don’t regret it!  I am not a huge Twilight fan but I did read all the books and see all the movies so I thought this was an interesting twist. Basically, the author switches the genders of the characters so we have a human male (Beau) fall in love with a female vampire (Edythe).  She did this as an experiment because people have often complained that Bella was a damsel in distress.  I the whole story interesting and fun- again!  I bought this as an ebook and for $12.95 you get this and Twilight- it’s a good deal!

Can you Go? By Dan John

The title of the book alone did wonders for me!  I have been dealing with an inflamed SI Joint and the thought of continuing to work out seemed daunting.  So I simply asked myself “Can you go?” and most of the time the answer was yes.  Anyway, I got this book looking for tips on improving my mental game; however, this is actually a book about how to coach people.   I misunderstood the title, but it was still good information.

The 5 Love Languages by Gary D. Chapman

I read this book many years ago and wanted to re-read it.  The book focuses on romantic love, but I find the information useful for all types of important relationships. It talks about the way people want to be loved.  For example, I am an “acts of service” person, so I feel loved when people do things for me- especially taking care of little things so that I don’t have too. It is also very helpful to figure out how people in your life prefer to be “loved.”  I think this is one of the most useful books I have ever read in human relationships!

Reviews by Rani

Ask and Ye Probably Will Recieve


I was listening to a podcast where they were trying to reduce violence in at risk youth and one of the training tactics was to teach them to ask for things instead of trying to take things. They would give one kid an object and tell the other kid to get the object from their partner.  The first reaction was always for the kid to try to take the object forcibly.  They then asked why violence was the first choice, and why they did not just ask their partner to give them the object.

I am not prone to violence; I am prone to smoldering resentful silence about not getting what I want.This got me thinking about things I would l like but am not willing to fight for (at least not physically) or just been reluctant to do anything about. I decided to do a little personal experiment.  I decided to ask for things.

I asked for a new monitor at work (I had dual monitor that were slightly different sizes), low and behold, an IT person arrived at my office that very day with a twin for one of my monitors.  I asked a friend to do a crazy workout routine with me, and she agreed to it. I asked Officer Charlie (the bomb sniffing black lab from the campus police department) to make an appearance at our staff meeting, and he will be there. Even more surprising is that the people I asked for these things seemed more than happy to accommodate me. Turns out the off chance of rejection is far out weighted by the glorious yeses that abound from asking a simple question.


Post by Risa

5 Recipes Perfect For Fall

Fall Recipes

Make it a yummy season with these recipes using the bounty of Fall produce:


Butternut Squash Soup

This is a thick and hearty soup that is a delicious!   I used bacon drippings to sauté the veggies, which give the soup a nice smoky flavor. This soup also freezes well.

Mushroom Risotto

Risotto is an Italian rice dish that is creamy and amazing!  Pair it with mushrooms and truffle salt for a hearty earthy flavor.

Sweet Potato Bread

This is lovely sweet bread that packs some extra vitamins from sweet potato. Eat plain or warm up in the microwave for a few seconds with some butter. Soooo good!

Spaghetti Squash

Looking for a healthy alternative to carb filled pasta?  Meet your new best friend, the spaghetti squash!  It shreds up with the shape and texture of pasta.  It has a very mild flavor and is quick and easy to prepare.

Pumpkin Spiced Cupcakes

Here is a quick easy way to get festive holiday flavored cupcakes to impress your coworkers and family and keep up with the pumpkin craze.


Recipes by Rani and Risa

Correction Rant


Dear people who feel the need to correct every mispronunciation, grammatical error, and anything else you find irritating,

Shut up!  No one wants to hear your correction.  If you knew what the person meant and the other person knew what they meant, let it go! You look like a condescending asshole when you behave this way. The other person does not appreciate your interjection.  You are extremely rude and insensitive. Imagine how irritating you are by the misuse of a word and then multiply that by 20. That is how irritated they are by your correction. You are actually making their lives worse all for the sake of feeding your ego. Their grammar may suck, but you suck as a human being.  Which is worse?

By the way, you have a million irritating flaws also that your grammatically challenged friend graciously overlooks. You are not correcting people to help them: you are doing so you can feel superior for a minute. I am sorry that you feel so insecure that your only contribution to this planet is knowing that irregardless is not a word and that is the soap box you want to stand on. Spend less time savoring your pompous feats of correction, and spend a little time developing some compassion and empathy while you still have some friends who can benefit from those kinds of attributes.

If asked to use your not so amazing corrective ability for good-knock yourself out.  Proof read a friends work (when asked).  Inform someone that the medicine they are asking for is not what they think it is, if the asked for one is going to kill them.  If you honestly do not understand what they said ask for clarification (if you can start the sentence with, “I think what you mean is…” you do NOT need clarification).

P.S. I make one exception, if the mistake is hilarious and you will BOTH enjoy a laugh when the mistake is revealed. Otherwise shut up!


Rant by Risa

The War on Sugar

War on Sugar

Confession: I am a sugar addict.  Sugar is my white powder of joy. It presses all the happy buttons in my head and then leaves me with the worse headache/hangover, but I always go back to it.  This is the time of year where sugar is everywhere. It starts with the Halloween candy and continues with all the holiday treats right through New Years.

This year needs to be different! I need a strategy to win battles and ultimately the sugar war.  Saying no to sugar forever is not realistic.  I want to be able to enjoy sugar, but not let it be in control of me. Often I let sugar be an emotional decision.


Here are some things I plan on doing to get sugar under control:

  • Quality sugar. Skip the crap sugar temptations. If I am going to indulge, it has to be worth it.
  • No more keeping sugar in my house. I have no self-control if it is there. If I want sugar, I need to go out and get it.
  • Plan sweet treats so I have something to look forward too.

I have developed a million ways to justify why I deserve a treat.  A treat actually needs to be a treat, not a daily occurrence. So this is me declaring war on sugar and all sugar pushers!


Post by Rani


Wait…What Are You Talking About?

Bird Buddy

Recently, I had an extensive conversation with a friend about purchasing a Bird Buddy for my sister’s parakeet, Kermie.  Turns out she had no idea what a Bird Buddy was and thought I was talking about buying a real bird to be Kermie’s friend (which hindsight 20/20, is a totally reasonable assumption). She also spent the majority of the conversation quietly thinking I was a freak for saying “Bird Buddy” instead of “parakeet”.  Finally, after I had spent several minutes describing that I was going to Petco and hoping to find a blue one and how I hoped Kermie would like it, she asked a follow up question that quickly revealed we were not talking about the same thing.

This got me thinking about all the conversations that I may have had in my life in which miscommunication like this occur.  I think it’s more common than people realize.  The most entertaining examples are watching two people have an argument in which they are yelling at each other about completely different things.  A former boss did this often only to then be angry once the miscommunication was discovered that the other party was an idiot for not understanding what he was talking about in the first place.

Doing a quick mental check of your audience’s background will clear up a lot of these issues. For example, I knew my friend had never owned a bird so I probably should have explained what a Bird Buddy was. Second, don’t assume your audience will ask if they don’t understand a few terms here and there. Most people just fill in the missing words with the first mental image that the words bring to mind and just insert that picture every time you say your new, crazy vocabulary experiment. No one wants to feel stupid so if you act like they should know what it means, they think they should know what it means. Third, gauge their reaction and ask if they know what you mean.  I noticed my friend’s searching and interpreted that she though the purchase was ridiculous and frivolous, but that she was wondering why I would call a parakeet a “Bird Buddy.”

P.S. If you are now wondering what a Bird Buddy is, it is a fuzzy triangular piece of fabric that solo birds can cuddle with when they sleep or want to feel like they have another bird for company.


Post by Risa

Still The Best Huffington Post Article Ever!

HP Article

This is a 2012 RKG repost. I was looking over old blogs and loved it all over again! Even 3 year later this cracks me up. So please enjoy this oldie but oh-so-goodie!

When I came across the article, “The Truth is Out There Ladies: Long Hair is Killing Your Career,” I was fully prepared for eye rolling and loud sighs. Not another pseudo-study on how some trivial physical characteristic will ensure woman never achieve equality in the work force.  Of course, I couldn’t look away from the train wreck, so I clicked on the title and braced myself.

I wasn’t prepared for the author’s brilliant use of sarcasm and stereotypes to bring home a valid point (a.k.a my personal opinion).  She had my full attention right at “pre-dead lady husks” and long hair being bad for business.  I thought it couldn’t get any better but she takes it a level up:  “But how will this affect my chances of getting a man? Because science has proven that men prefer women with long hair. They just do. It’s science.”

At this point I am in awe of how masterfully fabulous this article has become.   Way more amusing than I expected! So now the length of your hair determines, not only your career, but also your fate in love!!  You can’t have it all ladies- either you cut it for your career or grow it out for a man. The author perfectly captures the conflicting social messages women get throughout their lives.

Fortunately, Mar de Cesare is not just about ranting, she actually has a message.   In her closing paragraph, she brings us back to reason: “If you get the sense that your employer is concerned about the length of your hair– and you have a job as anything other than a hair model—time to get the hell out of that job, sweetness.”

LOL!  The only thing wrong about this article is I didn’t write it.  Here is the link- Enjoy!

Best Article Ever!


Post by Rani

Meatloaf “Healthier Version”


Instead of using bread or panko as the binder try using quinoa. It adds a nice texture and moisture to the traditional meaty meal.



1 lb Hamburger (lean)

1 cup Quinoa (cooked)

1/4 cup Yellow Onion (diced)

1 tsp Garlic (minced)

1 Egg

1 tsp Salt

1/2 tsp Pepper



In a mixing bowl, mash all ingredients together until everything is incorporated.

Place mixture in a loaf pan. I love making pup loafs since they are perfectly portioned and cook faster but a larger loaf pan works as well (you would want to double the recipe to get a nice sized loaf).

Cook at 400 F for 20 minutes for pup loafs and 40 minutes for a large loaf.


Recipe by Risa


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