Weekly Weigh In #3

Friday, May 30, 2014

Ok, can we pretend this week didn't happen? No? This is all about keepin' it real so I must tell you...OK, here it goes. This week I gained. I gained 2.4 pounds. What took me two weeks to take off, I put back on in one week.
But, I am not going to let this bring me down. It was a bad week, but it doesn't have to continue, and there were some good things this week and here they are...

The Good...

  • I got my steps in this weekend, Friday, Saturday, Monday and Thursday! I made it a point to get a walk in with the family this weekend and I didn't feel like a slug!
  • I cut down on my seltzer drinking. Before I let myself have a seltzer I made myself have a full glass of ice water first. Sometimes I would forget about the seltzer and sometimes I would still have it, but I stuck to my rule of two per day.
  • I cooked every night this weekend which I never do! It definitely helps that it is grilling weather, because that is so easy and what is better on a warm day?

The Bad and the Ugly...
  • I did not get my steps in on Sunday, Tuesday or Wednesday.
  • I did not get up early and get my morning walks in this week. I stayed up late and slept in each day. I felt rushed in the morning and fell behind in everything. I came home this afternoon and my house looked like a bomb went off...seriously!
  • I ate JUNK. It started with a Milky Way at Walmart and continued with chips and Con Queso, a rootbeer soda, ice cream, Girl Scout cookies, apple crisp, cheesecake, marshmallows and beer. Looking at it in a list like this, I am kind of horrified. Yikes!
I could come up with a whole lot of excuses, like the weather was rainy a lot of days, it was a holiday weekend, it was my anniversary (excuse for the cheesecake), but the fact is a moderate amount of unhealthy eating is ok, but as much as I did....no excuse!

So here is what I am thinking. I am going to find a food challenge. At least a week. Something that tells us exactly what to eat, because that works for me, and we will do it together. It will be something of a cleanse. When I did a clean eating challenge before, by the end of the week, I didn't crave the sweets. It was a great detox and I need it again. If you are interested in joining me, comment below. (I am having some commenting trouble so if you can't comment, let me know on Facebook) I will find a meal plan, I will post a shopping list and menus and then we will touch base each day. How does that sound? I will plan on doing it the week of June 16th. I would love to get 10 people, at least, to join and have a great group for accountability!

BUT, this does not mean I can slack off for two weeks. I will get my steps in this weekend and next week! I will come up with an alternative if it rains. I will stop snacking so much! This will be a great week, I know it!

Nine Years

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

That is how long we have been married today! Nine years, where does the time go? What has been going on the last nine years?
  • We have owned two houses.
  • We have survived countless renovations on our current house. Including one that had our house looking like this...not pretty, not easy, but we made it through!
  • We have had two children, Olivia is almost 8 and Owen is almost 4.
  • We have watched recitals, gymnastics routines, winter concerts, art shows and all that fun stuff you get to do as a parent!
    Our angel at the Christmas Mass
  • We struggled through an unexpected tragedy just after being married when my little brother passed away.
  • We struggled with our relationship after having both of our children. Finding time for each other and time for ourselves while being overtired and dealing with the kids was not an easy   transition for us, either time.
  • We have had four weekends away without the children, two with other people and two on our own. The last time was 2 years ago and we went to NYC, it was my first time. Right now we are in desperate need of a night or two away!
View from our room on the 40th floor!

  • We have taken a few small family vacations but all just road trips. I am looking forward to the first time we take the kids on an airplane! We both really want to go back to Bermuda (we went on our honeymoon) and sit on their beautiful beaches! We love the beach!
On the beach from our 2012 vacation in Lincolnville, ME

  • We have had two cats, a hamster and a couple of fish that are no longer with us.
  • We have a dog, Bentley and now two guinea pigs, Luke and Leia.
  • I worked at a physical therapy office until I was pregnant with Owen.
  • I went to cosmetology school at night for about 6 months, but didn't finish when I found out I was pregnant with Owen. I have done a few other things here and there over the last 9 years as well. I still don't know what I want to be when "I grow up!" 
  • Mike has changed jobs twice, same field but two different companies.
  • We have watched some of our close friends get married and have children. We have attended some really fun weddings!
    Friends wedding rehearsal 2013
  • We are still friends with some of the people we met in high school, but we have also made new friends.
  • We are almost 34 (we are almost in our mid thirties), we started dating when we were both 16 years old! Only married for 9 years, but we have been dating for 17 years. We went on our first date April 4, 1997. We went to see the movie Liar, Liar and then went out for ice cream. I even remember what I was wearing!
    We were maybe 20 in this picture. This is the oldest I could come across right now! Thanks Amanda for this #tbt!
  • We have celebrated many birthday and holidays which are even more fun since having the kids.
Christmas 2011

  • We bicker but very rarely fight (don't get me wrong, we fight, but big fights are rare) and they almost always end with us laughing. Mike has a way of joking with me or teasing me that really helps to diffuse an argument, unless I am not in a joking mood!  
  • We have yelled, cried and laughed...
    She wrote this note at 6...we are in trouble!
  • We have climbed mountains both literally and physically :)
Bradbury Mountain
The road has not always been easy, but for the most part we have been able to keep it fun! Some days though, the kids are being awful, we can't agree on anything and the house is a mess, but even on these days I wouldn't change it. Not that I want to rush through this time, because it goes by fast enough, but I think about the day that it is back to being just Mike and I most of the time and it makes me smile. When the kids are grown, I couldn't imagine spending my time with anyone but him. Before we know it, the kids are going to want to spend more time with their friends than with us and when that happens, I know Mike and are going to have a blast. We will miss the kids, but we will find each other again and that, I look forward to!

Meal Planning Day

Monday, May 26, 2014

It is Monday morning and I am just starting to think about my meal plan for the week. We have done yard work and spent time as a family this weekend and it has been wonderful. I know I don't have to go to work come Monday morning, but I feel so relaxed on a three day weekend. I think every weekend should be three days...doesn't it make sense? You get to enjoy two days and then have one to get ready for the week ahead. Could we somehow petition for this?? :)

Anyway, I am happy to report that besides getting Thai for lunch on Friday and then eating the leftovers for dinner, I cooked every night this weekend. This is HUGE for me. I hate to cook on the weekends. I realize that I probably should not have had Thai on Friday either, but once I think about Thai, I can't stop until I have it, but I did eat it for two meals instead of just one, that must count for something?? I know I have a problem! We did go for ice cream this weekend, but we walked there and back, so I feel that I can ignore those calories, right?? I will say though that I snacked a lot this weekend and not healthy stuff, I may have bought a Milky Way at Walmart on Sunday...oops.  I was sort of out of control...back at it today for sure.

Things I noticed from my under $100 grocery trip...
  • I ran out of everything, the kids had no snacks by Friday. This was and was not a bad thing. It forced them to eat the fruit we still had instead of things like Goldfish, graham crackers and popcorn, which aren't terrible things to eat, but of course eating fruit is better.
  • I used things that might have otherwise gone bad. I feel like I was more creative and thoughtful about what I was putting with our meals because I had to look around the fridge and cupboards rather than going to the grocery store. Not at all a bad thing.
  • I did have to go to the store this weekend, because we were eating meals we weren't planning to be home and because I had no breakfast foods. We were out of both kinds of peanut butter I buy, bread, cereal, waffles...everything! Sunday morning I made my last two bags of muffin mix and we ate those for breakfast, but this morning we would have been out of luck! I picked up some fresh fruit, burgers and buns for the grill last night, milk, etc. I also bought some beer and a zucchini plant and my total came to $55.61 (I bought peanut butter at Walmart). Some of the things I bought will be used this week, so we will see what the total for this week is. I won't grocery shop until tomorrow morning.
Breakfast options -
  •  English muffin with half peanut, half jelly and banana.
  •  Hardboiled egg, turkey bacon and fruit.
  • Oatmeal with peanut butter and fruit on the side (shout out to my friend Robin who told me about this yummy and quick option! Thanks Robin!!)
Lunch options -
  • Wraps with turkey lunch meat and veggies, with either avocado or hummus.
  • Salad with lunch meat or beans on it.
  • Peanut butter with sugar free jelly half sandwich and veggies on the side.
Dinner options -

Monday - Memorial Day and we are grilling - Steak - serving with corn on the cob and rice.

Tuesday - Sausage & Tortellini from Mix and Match Mama - This soup is easy and so good! I know it isn't really soup season, but I bought the stuff a few weeks ago because I am craving it! Click here for the recipe and try it!

Wednesday - Breakfast for dinner - I was going to get fancier and do omelets but we really have enjoyed our egg sandwiches and it is so easy to make especially since my hubby makes them! He is much better at making eggs and I would like to keep it that way!

Thursday - Chicken fingers and veggie - I make chicken fingers with egg whites, bread crumbs and garlic powder and they are yummy! The kids love them and they are super easy. We have girl scouts until 5 and won't get home until 5:30, but I will make them before and have them in the fridge for Mike to throw in the oven at 5. Dinner will be ready when we get home.

Friday - Pizza night - Pizza and movie! Because we had leftover Thai for dinner on Friday (the kids had French toast) we didn't eat pizza. So everyone will be excited for pizza this week!

Saturday - Pasta with Sauce - I may add meat or beans to the sauce, but it will just be something that  I have in the house. I will serve with broccoli and a salad. I have been craving pasta with sauce and the day after weigh in sounds like a great day to have it! I use this pasta that I found at Trader Joes (shown below). It is so good. No one in my family likes wheat pasta, but I don't want to buy white so I figured I would give this a try and you can't even tell that it isn't white pasta, but look at all the good things in it!

Sunday - I am going to make something with fish or seafood. I have some shrimp, scallops and tilapia in the freezer so I will come up with a recipe and update you on weigh in Friday!

So that's it! I will make my grocery list tonight and shop tomorrow! For an update on last weeks meals, both recipes that I made Ginger Soy Tilapia and Easy slow cooker BBQ Beef were yummy. Click here to go back to the recipes.

Lastly, today is Memorial Day, enjoy your extra day and your families, but don't forget to honor our troops. We are forever grateful for their service.

Birthday party budgets

Sunday, May 25, 2014

I have never tried to stick to a budget while planning a birthday party. I go overboard everytime! I am sure that if I went back to see what I spent on past birthday parties it would be shocking. I LOVE to plan a party, love it!

Lets talk about Olivia's past birthday parties! At one, it was a home party with a butterfly and flower theme. Very cute!
I apologize for some of these pictures. I can't access my old pictures because our computer died a few months ago and we got a new computer. Thank goodness we did not lose the pictures, but Mike hasn't put them on my new computer yet. These pictures are of my scrapbook pages of the birthday parties. I don't know why some of the words are backwards on some of the pages?? But you get the idea!

At two she had three parties, three cakes, three celebrations. She had a birthday party with just her playgroup, one big party and then one party with just us and her grandparents on her actual birthday. Three birthday parties was out of control and I said I would never do that again!
At three, she had a small princess tea party birthday party and then one with family.
 At four, she had a pottery painting party with friends and a party on her actual day with family.
 At five she had a Tangled party and it was awesome! This may have been the year it began to get out of control!
At six she had a Build a Bear and Pizza Hut party. 
I couldn't find a picture from her party so this is her at her cousins party the summer she turned 6!
Finally, at seven, she chose not to have a birthday party and to go down to the Boston American Girl store instead. We had a joint birthday party down there for just her and her cousin Grace. It was perfect and they loved it!

This year we are doing a cupcake wars theme! Olivia loves to bake and she loves to watch cooking shows. So we are going to combine that into a birthday party. The girls will come and eat pizza and watch an episode of cupcake wars so that they know what the point of the party is, then they will bake and decorate cupcakes and make a display. I am giving myself a $200 budget for the party. As of today, I have spent 83.32. I still have to buy all the cupcake mixes, frostings and decorating materials for the cupcakes and the house, plates, napkins and the pizza. It will be a challenge, but I am going to try to buy all the rest for only $116.68!

Now Owen, at one he had a caterpillar home birthday party. Super cute!
Starting at two we did destination parties. Owen loves tractors and farms so we did a party at Wolfe Neck Farm in Freeport. It was perfect for him!
I couldn't find a picture from the party, but this is pretty much what Owen did all that summer!
At three we did a fire station birthday party!
This year we are doing a home party with a Star Wars theme! Owen is obsessed with Star Wars. We are doing a brunch, so we will be making breakfast foods, yogurt and fixins, shaped pancakes, cinnamon buns, fruit, etc. The kids will be doing some activities for "Jedi training" and of course cake and ice cream! As of today, I have spent $58.70. I still have to buy all the house d├ęcor and themed party stuff, food, pillowcases for costumes, tape for lightsabers, I am also giving myself a $200 budget for this party. Can I do it??

After each party I will do a full post on the budget breakdown and of course party recap!

Weekly Weigh In #2

Friday, May 23, 2014

It's Friday...Weigh in day! I lost .8 pounds this week. I would have loved to lose more, but I lost and I didn't gain, so I will take it!

The Good...

  • Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday my steps were great...

  • Besides Thursday I stuck with my dinner meal plan exactly!
  • Thursday we had some unexpected things come up and by the time I got home I didn't feel like cooking and I didn't have enough BBQ sauce to make what I was planning so we skipped that and ate leftovers! I consider this a win because even though we didn't stick with the meal plan, we didn't eat out! Believe me, I am not going to lie, I was thinking about Thai food :)
  • I spent under $100 at the grocery store. I was close...real close and I didn't buy BBQ sauce which I clearly needed so that might have put me over. When I look back here and read that I thought I might only spend $50, I laugh! I took a picture of my groceries and saved my receipt so that I can do some analyzing...stayed tuned for my research!
The Bad and the Ugly
  • Friday, Saturday and Sunday not good days on my fitbit. I don't know what is wrong with me on the weekends?? I have got to get myself moving more. Sunday night I was laying in bed when I checked for my official number and saw that I was only 606 steps away from my goal. At 11:30pm I contemplated getting out of bed and walking around the house to reach it. Clearly as you can see in the picture, I didn't do it. My bed was just too comfortable!

  • I went to bed way too late this week, which leads to the next thing on the list...
  • I slept right through one of my morning walks this week. I slept through my fitbit alarm and two "where are you??" text messages...clearly I need to catch up on some sleep.
  • I think I might have a slight obsession with Pomegranate seltzer water...No, this isn't a terrible thing, but I am drinking very little regular water because I am drinking so much seltzer. Next week my goal is to limit to 2 seltzers a day and up my water intake. This will help not only my body but my budget!
  • Lastly, I plugged my fitbit battery in yesterday morning and then forgot to put it back on before leaving the house. So I went half my day not wearing it. It definitely showed in my numbers...we will just ignore Thursday!
As for the couples competition we LOST, by .7 pounds, .7 pounds....ughhhh! So, we owe my sister and brother in law lunch in NYC! We decided to continue the competition until we go to camp in July. This time we are competing for dinner....and I refuse to lose twice, so watch out!

Mike's gram had to have an unexpected surgery so we won't be traveling this weekend. I will need to supplement my meal plan for the times I wasn't expecting to be home. I will probably let us still have Subway one day, because frankly, I am lazy on the weekends!

This weekend we are going to talk about the budget and Monday I will be back with a new meal plan! Have a wonderful holiday weekend!

I'm tired...

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Ever have one of those days where you just want to go to bed at 6pm? I am having one of those days. Sometimes being a parent or maybe it is just being an adult is exhausting. It isn't even that I did a crazy amount of things today, but I think my To Do list is looming on my shoulders so much that it makes me tired just thinking about it.

Today I walked at 6am, came home and got myself and the kids ready. Dropped both kids off at a different schools at two different times, came home and started the crock pot, cleaned the house and folded laundry. Picked up Owen at noon and came home for lunch. Then while Owen took a tub I cleaned the bathroom. While Owen rested I did some computer stuff that I needed to do, bills, ordered a canvas bottom for the guinea pig play yard and updated my Amazon subscribe and save order for this month, etc.. Went to pick up Olivia and she and a friend came home. We spent time with the guinea pigs and then played outside. I did sit and read through a magazine while they played. Came in finished dinner and ate. As Mike was getting ready to put Owen to bed we realize that his sheets were wet from this morning (how did I not know this?) So right at bedtime I was changing sheets. Now I just finished picking up the house (which doesn't look like I cleaned it) and still have this sitting on my washer and dryer.....

Anyone want to put it away for me?
Seriously could we just buy new clothes? No, because that would not fit in our budget ;)
So, here is a peek at my May Calendar...does it make you tired just looking at it?
I would LOVE to say that June will be better, but it won't. Just in the first two weeks, we have a birthday party, trip to New York, dance recital, Girl scout camp out, school fair, preschool graduation and I am going to find time to see some friends! When the end of the year finally gets here, I am going to need 8 weeks to recover!
Now I am sitting here writing this blog...It is 8:39pm. The laundry is piled up, I now have sheets and blankets in the washer, I need to check some things off my list and Olivia is still not sleeping. She is currently whining for a band aid. I don't know about anyone else, but once I walk out of the room in the evening after putting them to bed, I lose all my patience. It is like the threshold of their room is my time clock, once over it, I am checked out. So unless there was some serious gushing blood I don't want to deal with it and even then I wouldn't want to deal with it, but I would like to think, I would be more sympathetic!
These boys have the right idea!
So there you have it...keepin' it real people. Tired and just trying to keep up the best I can! Even with all the chaos, I wouldn't change it for the world! Now back to what I should be doing so that I can go to bed. Tomorrow my day starts at 5am! Night all! 

It's Monday...lets talk food and some cuteness

Monday, May 19, 2014

Ok So, I would love to say that I followed my meal plan perfectly over the weekend...but I can't. I can't even say that I followed it at all, actually...ooops! Here is the original post if you want to see what I was supposed to do this week originally and here is what my updated weekend was supposed to look like.

So let's look at next week and hope that it goes better...We did eat our pizza tonight from Friday night with a large salad. I put onions, spinach, mushrooms and some leftover rotisserie chicken on the pizza...yum! But since I didn't eat the other meals planned for this weekend, I will put them on for this week.

Breakfast options -
  • Hard boiled egg, turkey bacon and fruit
  • Toast with peanut butter and banana
  • Oatmeal with walnuts, maple syrup and fruit mixed in
Lunch options -
  • Turkey or chicken wraps with veggies and hummus or avocado
  • Salad with beans or meat
  • Cheese quesadilla with a side salad
Monday - Ginger Soy Tilapia - recipe found here AGAIN! I am going to serve with snap peas and rice.

Tuesday -  Easy Slow cooker BBQ beef - recipe found here AGAIN! I am going to serve with coleslaw and corn on the cob!

Wednesday - Breakfast for dinner - egg sandwiches with fruit.

Thursday - Tacos - I make this recipe for BBQ Chicken Tacos from Mix and Match Mama (They are delicious!) for Mike and I and then make plain shells for the kids to fill how they want. Usually that means, just shredded cheese, lettuce and tomatoes. But that's dairy, a tiny bit of protein and veggies. I won't complain!

Friday - Pizza Night - even though we just did pizza on Sunday we will do it again on Friday. It is a tradition and we need a low key pizza and movie night with the kiddos after the craziness of the last few weeks and the craziness coming up. Anyone else looking forward to the end of the school year and some relaxing??

Saturday - We will be away. We are going to Mike's grandmothers 90th birthday party. Happy Birthday Gram!

Sunday - We will be home, but not until later. I am thinking we will plan to have Subway. Easy and healthy and the fact is, I could plan all I want, but the chances of me actually making something Sunday night after driving in the car for 4 hours, is slim to none!

Monday is Memorial Day and we are all off. We will probably just hang around the house and recoup from our quick trip. Mike was talking about using his smoker to smoke some ribs. I will post the recipe if we decide to do it!

Now for budgeting. I am thinking that since I already have the ingredients for most of the meals this week, I will easily spend under $100 maybe I could make it $50, although I go in for three things these days and can't make it out without spending less than $50. Are groceries getting crazy expensive or is it just me? We will have some eating out expenses this week due to traveling, but if I plan well, we will take food in the car and won't need to eat out as often. So I guess I need to be sure I make the time to plan!

And for a little bit of cuteness on your Monday morning, look what we brought home this weekend.
 The kids are the proud owners of two little girl guinea pigs. They couldn't be happier with their new pets! I have to say that I am pretty happy too! They are very cute and so calm with the kids. They snuggle right up with them. Olivia sat with hers in her arms for almost 45 minutes watching TV! Adorable! We got them Saturday, but didn't finalize names until Sunday night. Owen decided to name his Luke (Skywalker), I don't know many girls named Luke, but I don't think the guinea pig will be offended :) With Owen deciding on Luke, Olivia decided to name her little one, Leia! She thought it was cool that she and Owen both had "O" names and their guinea pigs would both have "L" names!
Owen wanted a picture of him snuggling Luke! 

Olivia wanted a close up of Leia to bring to show and tell at school on Friday!
Welcome Luke and Leia to the family!
Happy Monday!

Faith and First Communion

Sunday, May 18, 2014

We are catholic. We believe in god, we pray and are spiritual in our own way. One thing we don't do though, is go to church. I have never felt that you have to go church to have a relationship with god, but lately I am feeling drawn to go. I find it difficult to go with the kids though (not Olivia, but Owen) our church community does not offer daycare or a Sunday school program during mass. So church consists of entertaining Owen and not taking in the message. Because of this, I was looking around at other church communities that although were not catholic had the community and children's programs that I was looking for, but Mike was not on board with trying a different church, he felt if we are going to start going we will go to a catholic church, and I was hesitating as well. While I am having all these feelings, Olivia was doing Sunday school and on the path to make her first communion and confirmation which she received last weekend.

Let me tell you, it was beautiful. I was so impressed with the Bishop. I was impressed with the ceremony and with the message he gave and how he spoke with the children. There was a moment during mass where I had this overwhelming feeling that this is where I should be. I left realizing that I would start going to church and I would stick with the catholic church. I bought Olivia a 365 Devotional book for kids (shown below) and while we were reading it the other night, she said she would like us to go too..so there you have it. We are going to church!

Grace for the moment
I can't write this post and not show you how beautiful my little girl was on her first communion day! I am so proud of her. The first picture is Olivia with my niece and her bestie Grace!
I absolutely LOVE this face!
Another face to LOVE!

These boys sat quietly in church for almost an hour and a half, can you tell??
Owen and Ethan...my favorite little boys

The Whole crew! I think the restaurant was glad to see us go!

Oh and the cake I made! I was pretty proud of myself for this one!
Hope your week starts off great! I will be waking at 5am to go walking with sister in law (the mama to Grace and Ethan!) Yay for motivation to get moving! 

Weekly Weigh In

Friday, May 16, 2014

It is weigh in day! I am pleased that this week I lost 1.6 pounds!

The Good...

  • I got my 10,000 steps in every day since Sunday.
This is what my Fitbit flex app screen looks like on my phone and these are my step counts since Sunday!
  • I got up at 5am 3 days and 6am 1 day this week to walk.
  • I stuck to the meal plan 90% of the time. I stuck to one yummy Maple mustard hot dog on Monday and I used the leftover sauce from that to put on my grilled chicken for my Tuesday night salad. Yum! Thursday my chicken was still completely frozen in the morning and I didn't have time to get it in the crockpot so I just bought a rotisserie chicken at the grocery store. Tonight we are going to a last minute dinner at families house, so we will have the homemade pizza tomorrow instead.

The Bad and the Ugly...
  • Getting my steps in even on days I don't walk. Today I am seriously lacking in steps and at this point, I think it will be hard to hit 10,000.
  • We went over to visit some family on Tuesday night and had birthday cake and some yummy "smores" I didn't say no to either and I probably should have (or at least to one of them!) in order to see a bigger loss on the scale. And I am not going to lie, I dug into the kids Easter candy every day for a little something sweet, just a Hershey kiss or something each day...oops!
  • My grocery shopping budget went out the window this week....I went to Hannaford for groceries on Monday and spent $120 (about that, I can't find my receipt) then I did Trader Joes on Thursday and spent $120.11 and Hannaford and spent $52.13 there. So I spent a total of $292.24 at the Grocery store this week. HOLY! But, my goal next week is just to get fruit bread and milk. I stock up at Traders on some things we like because I don't go there each week. I bought things like frozen chicken and some frozen items that make easy meals that we like from there and some snack foods that will last more than one week. My goal is to spend $100 or less next week. I will have to stick to my list and I could probably do it and maybe for two weeks??? We'll see!
  • Last night I went to Book Club and had 3 glasses of wine and munched on some crackers and dip and mini ├ęclairs. They were good, I had fun and enjoyed myself...this is life!
So that's it. I did lose, I wasn't perfect, but I am happy with the results! Next week is our final weigh in for our couples competition so I have to step it up this week. I am hoping for a big loss...I don't like to lose, AT ALL!

This weekend I am going to post about Olivia's first communion and confirmation and I will post a new meal plan for next week! Enjoy the weekend! 

Family Meeting

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

OH my kids...I love them dearly, but lately they are pushing every single one of my buttons. Owen is at that three and a half to four year old stage where they test every boundary. Olivia, oh my dear Olivia. She is fabulous for everyone else, but at home she pushes the limits and fights constantly with her brother. Individually I can handle them, but the two of them fighting all the time was getting to be too much. I love to read so I picked up a book for some advice. I read, The Secrets of Happy Families by Bruce Feiler.

I liked the book. It was informative and humorous at the same time. There were some tips I will definitely be using and some that won't work for our family, but overall I found it helpful. One tip from the book that I was anxious to get in place was the "family meeting." He talks about using a family meeting to talk about what has gone well in your week, not well, and what you will work on for the next week.

Sunday we had our first family meeting. It could have gone worse...it could also have gone a bit better. Owen has the attention span of an ant is still a little on the young side to sit for an extended period of time and listen to things he doesn't care about. Olivia did great I thought, but even she seemed to be spacing off a bit at the end. I guess I need to make it shorter and I think that it will be as their was some explaining this time to start the meeting.

We came up with a loooong list of things that we needed to work on, but in the end you choose two things for the week. You make the list, choose the two things and come up with consequences all as a family. So they essentially choose their own punishment which was kind of fun! I think they are harder on themselves than we would be on them!

This week they chose to work on screaming, Olivia has a piercing scream that she likes to let out sometimes just to annoy us and it works, so hopefully we are going to curb that this week along with yelling at each other. Secondly they are working on using their words when arguing instead of their hands. If they do one of these things during the day, Olivia gets an extra chore (and not a fun one. Wait, are there fun chores??) and Owen gets a timeout (as opposed to the spankings they wanted?? pretty sure they weren't thinking that through! haha!). If they go all day without doing either of those things, they will get to pick from the prize bucket. The prize bucket is simply a bin filled with stuff from the dollar store.

Can you guess who's is who's?

Results from day 1...Olivia rocked this day. Amazingly! I had no high hopes because they are super overtired from our weekend and that usually means terrible behavior, but she did awesome! Owen, did not get to choose from the prize bucket, but overall didn't have a terrible day. With her making good choices it made him do a lot better too. But one time he got upset with her and hit her while yelling at her...double whammy...I think he learned a good lesson tonight though when she got to pick from the bin and he didn't, so we shall see how tomorrow goes. I will keep you updated on how this family meeting and the consequences and reward system works out for us.

My week in food

Monday, May 12, 2014

I am making a plan for all of my meals this week. In order to try to cut costs at the grocery store and so that I have a clear plan of what I am going to eat at all meals this week. This will help me avoid looking to take out as an option which will save money and help out on the scale! Here is my plan...

Breakfast options
  • Hardboiled egg on toast with berries or melons
  • One slice whole wheat bread with 1 tbsp. natural peanut butter and berries or melon
  • Oatmeal with berries or with walnuts and maples syrup
  • extra kid option - Cheerios
Lunch options
  • Whole wheat wrap with Turkey lunch meat, peppers, spinach or other greens add hummus or greek yogurt ranch.
  • Salad with veggies and canned tuna, turkey lunch meat or beans. Oil/vinegar or Fat free Italian.
  • extra kid options - peanut butter and fluff or jelly, peanut butter on a bagel
Snack options
  • Orange with raw nuts
  • Apple or celery with natural peanut butter
  • Banana
  • Veggies with hummus
  • extra kid options - goldfish, graham crackers w/pb, cereal bar, raisins, apple sauce
Dinner plan - Things I need to take into account this week...Monday Olivia has tennis at 6pm so I will need to make something easy or maybe use the crock pot? Wednesday we don't all eat together because Olivia has dance during dinner time. This week I don't have to drive her so I can still cook something. Thursday is a crazy day and I won't have time to cook in between Girl scouts and Tball so I have to think crock pot or sandwiches. Friday we always do pizza night and since we won't be eating out we will make homemade. Saturday and Sunday we luckily don't have much going on. Plenty of time to cook, but weekends I never feel like cooking so that will be a challenge for me. Here goes the plan....
Monday - Hot dogs, these are a kid favorite in our house (and I realize these aren't "clean" but we can't be perfect all the time!). I think I am going to use this recipe for Maple mustard dogs from Mix and Match Mama to make my hot dog a little fancier and a little heartier so that I only have one with some sweet potato fries and a side salad. While Mike grills up the hot dogs I will have him grill some chicken for tomorrows dinner.
Tuesday - Grilled chicken salad. A quick and light dinner. The kids won't eat it as a salad, but I will cut up their chicken and then have cut up veggies on the side.
Wednesday - Egg sandwich and fruit. We almost always have breakfast for dinner on Wednesday nights. Olivia has dance so I make omelets or egg sandwiches for the rest of us (Olivia doesn't like eggs) and then I make Olivia either pancakes or a bowl of cereal with some fruit when she gets home. She eats a big snack before she goes so she doesn't need a big dinner.
Thursday - I am going to make a whole chicken in the crock pot. I have one in the freezer already. I will cook up a bag of frozen veggies and dinner will be ready in 5 minutes after I get home. I will use the leftovers for lunch salads or maybe make a chicken salad wrap on the weekend.
Friday - Pizza. We have pizza every Friday night and watch a movie. It is the one night we eat in front of the TV and the kids love it! I will probably head to Trader Joe's at some point this week to grab some pizza sauce, they make the best sauce!
Saturday - Ginger-Soy Tilapia. I found this recipe in my All You magazine. Doesn't it look great? And I happen to have some Tilapia in the freezer already!
 Sunday - Easy slow cooker BBQ beef. Sometimes the weekend days get away from me and before I know it, it is dinner time and I haven't thought about what to make yet. I am going to use the crockpot this Sunday so that I don't have that excuse. At dinner time, it will be ready. I found this recipe on About.com. It sounds yummy! I am going to serve with coleslaw and maybe a sweet potato.
Ok that does it! Off to make my grocery list!

My weight loss journey

Saturday, May 10, 2014

I debated over whether to post a before picture and this is where my struggle with body image comes in...I hate all pictures of myself. I critique myself ten times over. When I do try to get a good picture, I have to take it no less than 100 10 times. Not joking. But then I thought about the purpose of this blog and my promise to "keep it real" so, how can I not show you what I am working with here! So, here it is and this is about as real as it gets people! I took this picture after my 5am walk. No shower, no makeup and a baseball hat! It isn't flattering but it is real :)

Pay no attention to the two different socks...laundry is whole other topic!

Height: 5'2''
Weight: (I can't believe I am being this real) 191.2 pounds
Goal: 140 pounds or less

So there it is, my weight out there for the world to see! If that isn't motivation I don't know what is!
Here is what I am doing right now to start my weight loss journey. I am wearing a Fitbit Flex (shown below) I got mine at Target, but you can get them online or other stores. I wear the one shown in violet. I can't get over how motivating this thing is. I actually feel guilty if I haven't reached the goal of 10,000 steps. I have been known to walk around and around my house at 11pm if I am close but just haven't made it. Not to mention that Mike and I both have them (he wears black) and we have a mean competition going on with my sister and brother in law. The couple who loses the most weight in a month takes the other couple to lunch. We have been known to heckle each other quite a bit about how many steps we take in the day, so that contributes to my need to get as many steps as possible.
Fitbit Flex
I have been walking at 5am a few days a week with my sister in law and that is great because  I am up for the day, I have half my steps in before anyone in my house wakes up and I have so much extra time in my morning. I thought I would hate getting up so early, but I have enjoyed it. It is good that I have someone I have to meet because otherwise I would probably go back to bed! It is the getting out of bed that is so hard, once I am up it's great!
As for eating....I still need to work on this. I really don't eat horrible, most of the time I really eat great. But I have too many times where I don't. We order dinner out too much. I often don't have a firm plan for dinner or don't feel like cooking and we get takeout. For our budget and for our weight that needs to stop. For my snacks I don't lean towards fruit and veggies and I need to start. I eat far too much sugar and I need to get that under control.
My goal is to eat clean. I did a five day cleanse a couple of months ago. Lost 5 pounds in a week and loved the way I was eating. I followed the plan exactly and felt great at the end, didn't crave sugar and was able to keep going. Then one week I wasn't prepared and fell back into my old ways and here I am trying to get started again. I am thinking that I am going to do that cleanse again because I need to detox the sugar out of my body. I would love to have some people following along and doing it with me.
So for weight loss, I will be blogging about my exercise plans and what is working for me. I will post the clean eating challenge and how that goes, and what I do to get better prepared each week for clean eating. And of course, I will update about my weight. Weigh in days are Friday. Stay Tuned!

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