Noreen Veffer - In Home / In Office Certified Personal Fitness Trainer

Serving clients in the Bergen County, NJ area since 2008.

30 Different Playgrounds in 30 Days

 Back in July I came across the blogpost 30 Challenges for 30 Days . I was intrigued. I like small challenges. I like the thought of collecting moments not things. So I decided to drive a different way to my daughter’s summer camp every morning.  I didn’t really track it though or take it too seriously.

 I reread the blogpost in the beginning of August.  I haven’t been accomplishing my goals lately.  I needed to get back into the habit of doing so.  30 different playgrounds in 30 days became my new challenge.

I decided on 30 playgrounds for a few reasons. Camp was almost over.  I wanted to add fun experiences to my daughter’s summer.  There are many playgrounds relatively near to my home.  I owned the book The Playground Guide: Best of Bergen County New Jersey, so I might as well use it. Going to most playgrounds is relatively free.

 I managed to get to 27 playgrounds in the time frame of the challenge.  I failed forward. I didn’t get to all 30 but I did go to more playgrounds than if I hadn’t set the challenge. Here are the 27 indoor/outdoor playgrounds.  A few are outside of Bergen County, NJ.

1. Faber Field, Glen Rock

2. Memorial Park, Maywood

3. Besen Park, Paramus

4. Petruska Park, Paramus

5. Oradell Kid’s Foundation Playground, Oradell

6. Veterans Memorial Park, River Edge

7. Van Saun Park, Paramus

8. Dunkerhook, Paramus

9. Saddle River County Park, Glen Rock

10. Otto C. Pehle Area, Saddle Brook

11. Wild Duck Pond, Ridgewood

12. Screaming Parties, Paramus, indoor

13. Chuck E. Cheese, Paramus, indoor

14. Cedar Creek Campground, Bayville, NJ, camping, swimming

15. Doug Parcell’s Athletic Complex, Oradell

16. Graydon Park, Ridgewood

17. William J. Dudley Park, Bayville, swimming

18. Allaire State Park, Farmingdale, NJ, train ride, museum, village to tour

19. Memorial School, Paramus

20. Ridge Ranch School, Paramus

21. Foscshini Park, Hackensack

22. Johnson Park, Hackensack

23. Votee Park, Teaneck

24. Votee Park, Teaneck, two separate playgrounds

25. Staib Park, Hackensack

26. Finch Park, Ramsey

27. Supereenio Park, Haworth

 The experience was wonderful for my daughter.  She was excited every time we left on another adventure to find a new playground. Her social skills with other children definitely improved as she became more at ease with either joining or inviting other kids to play.  She learned from other girls not me that brothers can be annoying. Going down the fire pole is a favorite of hers as is swinging on the swings.  Her climbing ability and confidence have improved tremendously. She exclaimed, “I did it!” many times.  Two ice pops were also scored at Otto C Pehle Area in Saddle Brook and Votee Park in Teaneck.  

 The challenge was great for me too.  I loved watching her play and grow.  I had great conversations with other parents.  Exploring where you live and travel to can be an adventure, especially when you think you know where you are going. I hate giving in and using GPS. I now have a new list of places to go when my daughter asks/demands where are we going to go today. The sense of accomplishment I feel is now fueling me for the next 30 day challenge I set myself. 30 days of only eating meals that are Cooking Light Magazine recipes.



I May Be Falling In Love With Bicycling

In the quest to live a healthier lifestyle, I am using my bicycle for transportation and working out more and more. I either ride by myself or attach a co-pilot bike to the seat post of my bike and my daughter comes along for the ride.  I have been able to burn extra calories and save a little on gas money by riding to my parent’s house, the local library, parks, and town events for the family. The plan is to add a basket, bike rack, and some panniers to the bike for trips to local markets on the weekends and future commutes to school and work. 

As I complete more and more bike rides, I find myself enjoying the rides more and more.  When I am by myself I feel like a kid again riding around looking for adventures.  When I am with my daughter, the constant “wheeeeees” and giggles I hear from her brings me such joy.  The strength I am building in my legs feels awesome as does the increase in my cardio output.  The challenge of climbing steeper and longer hills motivates me to be better.  

To improve the bicycling experience I have been cruising around the internet looking for articles and videos on bike maintenance and commuting by bike safely.  I have pinned many of them on my Biking board.  One important thing I learned was that since my bike was several years old and very little maintenance had been done to the bike, I was in danger of one or several of the cables breaking on me while I was riding.  Any mechanical failure is the last thing I need especially while I am riding with my daughter. I brought my bike to the local R.E.I store last week to have basic maintenance service done to it plus all the cables/wires for the brakes and shifters replaced.  The bike department at the Paramus R.E.I. did an excellent job and were very courteous.  

During the week while my bike was in the shop, I took advantage of the store’s free bike maintenance class.  Those who attended were taught mainly how to fix a flat tire on both the front and rear wheels on several different types of bikes.  I went into the class very intimidated of such a task. The master bike mechanic who gave the class was very patient, passionate, and knowledgable of how to take care of your bike.  I left there knowing how to fix a flat and was eager to practice at home.  

My daughter and I really missed my bike while it was in the bike shop. She was sad when I picked her up from my Mom’s house with my car instead of our bike/copilot combo.  During the week when we were getting set to go to the library, she was very upset that we were driving instead of biking over to her class.  I think we both have a crush on bicycling.  Hopefully we will continue to have a long, enjoyable relationship with our bikes.

Weekly Web Round-Up

I wanted to share with you some of the links to some wonderful and informative posts that I found this week on the web.  Every morning I post a new link to a blog post or recipe that I think will help you reach your goals of being healthy on the Desirefitness Facebook Fanpage

1- Motivation- Read this article from to help you develop confidence, focus, and direction.

2-Kale Chips- I have not made them yet.  I have been seeing them on a few healthy/fitness blogs lately. The plan is to make them this week.  If successful I may bring them to the family Christmas celebration.  Here is the recipe I am going to try. 

3-Healthy Snacks- has posted 50 healthy snacks for you to try.  My 2 cents though with this list is to watch the portions you eat.

 4-Exercise- The Burpee- The Burpee is a full-body combo exercise that builds strength and gets the heart pumping.  You do not have to do too many of them to start breathing heavy and sweating.  The Art of Manliness does an excellent job explaining and showing you video of this great exercise. 

Let me know what you think of any of this information.  Try one of the recipes? I want to know how it turned out.

Have a great week!