It's Monday!

Monday, June 30, 2014

It's Monday and the start of a fresh new week! I have woken up refreshed and motivated! This will be a great week!

I decided to print a monthly calendar for meal planning yesterday so that I could plan ahead. I think this will help me out a lot because I struggle with a meal plan. I sit down to make it and you would think that since I have been cooking for 16+ years I would be able to easily write down 7 meals for the week and move on, but that is not the case. I stare at the calendar and my mind goes blank. I think there are so many things going through my head like, how much time will I have to cook that day? Will the kids like it? Is it healthy? What would I make on the side? that I get overwhelmed and can't come up with anything. I am thinking that if I do a chunk ahead of time, even if I have to tweak it because of a schedule thing, at least I am only changing a day and not a week, and if I am working on three or four weeks from now and not tomorrow, maybe I will feel less overwhelmed and time pressed? All theories, but I am trying it!

I started with a list of meals. I just jotted down all the things I could think of that we like to eat and then worked on plugging them into the calendar. I thought about when I would want leftovers for lunches and other meals and tried to be really strategic about when I planned certain things. For instance, tonight I am going to cook extra BBQ chicken for a couple of reasons. My dad's birthday is tomorrow and I don't know yet if we are going to my parents for dinner. If we do, then I will use the extra chicken for our lunches this week, but if we don't we will have grilled chicken salads for dinner tomorrow. I won't be getting home until later in the afternoon so it will be a nice quick and easy dinner if I need to make something.

Here is the start of my July calendar and my list of things we like to eat!

Now for my dinner meal plan...

Monday - Grilled chicken with BBQ sauce, Brown Rice and a veggie
Tuesday - Possible Grilled chicken salad or eating at Mom and Dad's. I am going to make this Easy Lemon Vinaigrette dressing from Peanut Butter Fingers to put on my salads this week.
Wednesday - Egg sandwiches with a side of fruit (Olivia has dance so we don't have a lot of time)
Thursday - Teriyaki salmon cooked on the grill with quinoa and veggie. I am going to use this teriyaki recipe from Mix and Match Mama click here.
Friday - Steak on the grill, Pasta Salad and a veggie
Saturday - we won't be home, we will be at a cookout
Sunday - Mussels with French bread. This will be a night where I feed the kids and then the hubby and I eat alone, a little at home date night. I haven't decided if I will need to serve something else with this or if it will be filling enough? This is a picture of the recipe I am going to use. I couldn't find it online so I just took a picture of the book!

That's it! Now I am off to start my day. I have a little time to myself this morning to grocery shop in peace, then I will be taking Olivia out on a date day! I am not sure what is on the agenda, but she mentioned shopping, she has a few gift certificates that she can't wait to spend! I was also thinking about taking a walk around Mackworth Island which we both love. Either way it will be nice to spend some quality time with my little lady!

Happy Monday!

Weigh in Friday - New Photo addition!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Ok, time to put it all out there! Not only am I going to post my weekly weight loss (or gain) and the good and bad things I did during the week, but now I will post a picture. I know this journey will take me to where I want to be and how great will it be to look back and see how far I have come a few months or years from now? And lets be honest, talk about accountability, right?? How can I keep up my habits and not work on losing weight. You all don't want to see the same picture of me each week, you want to see some progress, and progress I will give you!

Here I am today!
Current weight: 193.8
Goal weight: 140 or below
Small goal: 14.8 pounds (random number, but I want to be in the 170's)
I was a little (Ok, a lot) sad to see that since I started the blog, I had gained 2.6 pounds. It doesn't really surprise me with the last couple of weeks, but of course it upsets me. But I am going to move on. I am not going to beat myself up about the past few weeks, I am just going to try extra hard to make the next few weeks a success. Now, for pictures. Notice the full length mirror (if you don't know the story of the full length mirror click here)
Talk about vulnerability! The side view especially is taking me out of my comfort zone. It is hard to look at. No more excuses! On to the weekly update...
The Good...
  • The beginning of the week didn't start out great, but I felt something happen after swimsuit shopping (read story here) to my attitude, motivation and overall feeling of "I can do this!!" 
  • Owen's birthday party is this weekend and you know how good you clean before people come into your house? Well, I cleaned like crazy this week and I am implementing some regular chores for the kids so that we keep up. More organization and help from my family members is going to allow me to reach my goals.
  • I started Beachbody's T25 on Wednesday! I love it and forgot how great it is to get a fantastic workout in just 25 minutes. I am going to make 25 minutes a priority, 5 days a week until I finish the program!
The Bad and the Ugly...
  • I didn't get my steps in at all this week. Not one time. I mean, most days were in upwards of 8,000, but still, I really like to reach my goal! I haven't walked this week. I started T25, but I still want to get a walk in on most days. Even if I just take a short walk to get those last 1,500-2,000 steps!
  • I didn't eat great this weekend or at the beginning of the week and I really have been so consumed by other things that my dinner plans have gone out the window. But I know next week will be different!
Well there you have it! Now I am off to make cupcakes for Owen's Star Wars birthday party! What a fun party we have planned. I am looking forward to breaking it all down to see if I did it within my $200 budget!

Have a Great Weekend!  

Swimsuit shopping

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Yes, the dreaded swimsuit shopping.....

Mike and I had a date night Monday night and decided to go up to LL Bean. We needed to return some shoes that Olivia decided didn't fit very well and I needed a swimsuit. I went to the beach Monday in shorts and a tank top. How can I be fun when I can't go in the water?? Time to break down and get one.

I like the LL Bean suits because they are good quality and material and they stay in good shape for a long time. I bought one two years ago that still looks brand new but it doesn't fit anymore. It didn't fit well last year either, but I made it work. This year their was just no way I could suck, squeeze or move in that suit, sooooo, I went to try on bathing suits.

I went in to get this suit click here. I had found it online, it had the coverage I wanted while still being flirty and cute. Perfect, right? WRONG. I brought in a couple of sizes and in each one I looked pregnant, maybe 6 months? Well since my last baby is going to be 4 in a few weeks, it doesn't work for me. So I tried on a bunch more and decided the dress bathing suit wasn't going to work. I hauled in a bunch of tankini's which definitely were more flattering but the sizes I brought in were just a bit snug. I could do it, but would I be comfortable or would I be pulling on it all the time? Probably, so I went and got the next size up, a size I have never even tried on before, never mind bought. Of course, It fit, so I went out and got a few more styles in that size and finally chose this one.

Remember the old bathing suit I was telling you about from LL Bean? The one that doesn't fit anymore? It is the same bathing suit that I bought this time, just a different color. It was a size 10, this time I bought a size 18 :( In two years I went up 4 sizes in a bathing suit. Needless to say, I was sad and felt physically sick actually. How did I let myself get this way? When did my weight start getting so out of control? I feel like the last few weeks it has been thrown in my face between the full length mirror (story here) and the bathing suit shopping. I knew I was putting on weight, but boy I didn't realize just how much my body had changed. Again, this just shows me how serious this journey has become for me. The time is now to break the cycle because if I didn't realize what was happening all this time and I keep going with my habits, where will I be in two more years? Definitely not in the place I want to be, that's for sure!

On a brighter note, Mike and I continued our date night. We were celebrating his birthday which was the next day, so we went out to dinner. A nice long dinner which was great to be able to talk. Guess what we talked about? Changing our lifestyle! That is a blog post for another day though! Then we ended our night with....drum roll please, we are wild and shopping. Yes, grocery shopping. It was either stop on the way home or I had to go at 7am and at 10pm, I wasn't feeling that, so we went together. Oh what time alone has turned into! We definitely need another date night scheduled that doesn't include bathing suit shopping and the grocery store, so I will work on that!

I posted this picture to Facebook yesterday to say Happy Birthday to my handsome hubby who is now officially older than me, for 30 days anyway! We took this in the parking lot of LL Bean before shopping!
Love my "old man"
Next up, Weigh in Friday. New addition with a picture! Then next week, Owen's birthday party. Did I make it in my budget? You will find out!

Have a great Wednesday! 

Back to Reality

Monday, June 23, 2014

Wow! Does anyone else feel like they can finally breath again? The last 8 weeks have been a whirlwind of activity for our family. Starting today, we are officially on summer vacation and I am thrilled. I was so ready to be done with the routine of the school year. Making lunches, keeping up with homework, remembering snack day, show and tell, getting up and out in the morning. Yes, now I have two kids all day every day, but I am excited this year...really I am! We are going to stay busy all summer and have fun, and my kids are going to be on their best behavior, and no one is going to fight, everyone is going to sleep in, and my house will be clean and the laundry caught up...Right??!! Ok, maybe I am dreaming a bit, but we are going to focus on fun this year and hope that all the rest falls into place!

So the reality of the last week was this...I was busy, I was tired and lazy about food. I did great at the beginning of the week, but by the end I had run out of steam and we had takeout and my snack choices were not great...I may have eaten three bags of fruit snacks yesterday :( When I feel tired or stressed, I don't want to cook and I make really horrible choices. But I am aware and I am ready to change it. Here are a few things I plan to research and start doing...
  1. Freezer meals. I need healthy meals in my freezer! It is a must because there are just too many nights that I don't feel like cooking. I wish I could say I love to cook and I get excited at 4pm to drop everything I am doing and come in to cook, but I can't! I get caught up in stuff, next thing I know it is 5pm and I forgot to take out the meat that I was supposed to cook tonight and boom my mind travels to Amatos, Thai food and really anywhere that doesn't require me to cook. There are tons of people on Pinterest that give you great ideas on freezer meals. I am going to start a freezer meal board on Pinterest and then I will share them with you...stay tuned.
  2. Meal Prepping. I need to start prepping stuff ahead. I have to make the time to prep things for the week so that I don't have to do it each day. This would make a huge difference in my time and what I grab for snacks. The problem is making the time consistently. I do it for a week or two after grocery shopping (and I LOVE the results) but then the next time I have to grocery shop quick, throw stuff in the fridge and head off to the next thing and it never gets done. I would love to hear some tips, if anyone has any, about making the time for this, I would love to hear them! Comment below!
So, I am going to start my research on those things and really try to get organized with food. I am going to start T25 today and continue my walking for exercise. Here is my meal plan for the week.


  • Toast, egg, tomato with bacon from the Clean Eating Challenge, Day 1
  • English muffin with natural peanut butter and a banana


  • Egg salad wrap from the Clean Eating Challenge, Day 4
  • Turkey wraps with hummus and veggies like the Clean Eating Challenge, Day 1 and 5
  • Peanut butter and sugar free jelly wrap with a side of veggies (this is perfect for throwing in a lunch box for the beach) These are the wraps that I use and it is surprisingly filling.


  • Monday - we are having a loooong overdue date night and going to dinner.
  • Tuesday - Mike's birthday and we are taking dinner to the beach. It may just be Subway.
  • Wednesday - Homemade chicken tenders with a veggie
  • Thursday - Fish on the grill with a brown rice and a veggie
  • Friday - Pizza night! Homemade of course :)
  • Saturday - We will have company this weekend, so I think we will throw some hot dogs and cheeseburgers on the grill with a salad.
  • Sunday - Leftovers if there are any or breakfast for dinner. Egg sandwiches and fruit.  

I am going to leave you with some funny e-cards! These all make me laugh and sometimes you just gotta laugh ;)

Happy Monday!!

Day 5

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Day 5!!! This is the last day of the challenge! How is everyone feeling? When you get on the scale tomorrow, let me know, do you have weight loss? Do you feel more energetic? What was your favorite meal? Overall what did you think of the challenge? Helpful? Did you at least come out with a few meals that you really liked?

First the menu again...

I enjoy this breakfast a lot! I eat this quite a bit since doing the challenge. It feels a little fancy with the bacon (I just cook it in the microwave so it is quick!) but the toast with jelly is quicker than the eggs and tomato from day one. I don't love the sugar free jelly, but it isn't bad enough that I can't eat it, I would just prefer a little sugar!

Morning snack, again just use the Greek yogurt as a substitute. My Shakeology samples are on the way, I can't wait to try them. I will keep you all posted! If you want to order them contact Carrie here.

For lunch I used the deli turkey in the wrap, and used grapes instead of tomatoes because I wanted something sweet and it just sounded good...and it was! Play around with stuff, you never know what you might like!

Afternoon snack veggies with cottage cheese, not my fave. I really preferred the veggies plain but it does give some protein. Hummus would probably do the trick as an alternative!

For dinner, another marinating overnight recipe. I don't think I did that the first time though and it was fine. I bought a tenderloin,which is what the shopping list called for the first time, but had so much left over. The second time I bought just pork chops. I also felt it was way to much Rosemary. Maybe if you are a lover of Rosemary you wouldn't feel that way? But I would definitely cut down the amount.

So that's it! We are done! If you didn't get to do the challenge this week or want to do it again, you can get all the information in one place at the top of the page under 5 Day Clean Eating Challenge. The shopping list, menus and daily posts are all there. Hope it went well for you!

***Disclaimer - I was given this Clean Eating Challenge by a Beachbody coach, I am not a dietician of any sort. I am just passing along a great menu plan that was given to me! If you have any questions I will gladly try to find the answers for you.

Have a great weekend! 

Day 4

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

When I was doing the challenge the second time, Day 4 didn't work out very well, so I have no pictures for this day. I will give you my tips and update with pictures on another day!
First for the menu...
For Breakfast, I used protein powder the first time because I had some. I also added in Peanut butter since it is called a peanut butter and banana shake, but then I don't see peanut butter in the ingredients. I put about a tablespoon in it.
Morning snack is pretty self explanatory!
Lunch was great! Amazingly, you don't even taste that you are using cottage cheese. The texture of the cottage cheese and the chopped eggs are so similar that you don't notice! I made it without Dijon mustard for Mike because he doesn't like mustard and I added greens (lettuce and/or spinach) to both. You could even add onion or other veggies to the salad if you like some other things in your egg salad! Yum! You will not be disappointed!
Afternoon snack, I did the orange with cashews (whole raw cashews) instead of almonds and it has become one of my favorite snacks. Something about the citrus and the cashews I love!
Dinner was very good! I didn't have flank steak so I used some other kind of steak (we bought a portion of a cow a few months ago, so I couldn't get myself to go buy flank when I have a freezer full of meat downstairs!) I think it was minute steak? I remember feeling like 1 tbsp. of pepper was a little much on such a small piece of steak, so I know I cut down a bit and even still felt it was a bit too peppery. When you put the spinach mixture on top of the steak, it was really good and cut down on the pepper taste, but next time I would probably use half the pepper at least! I still thought the meal was really good, but I would just tweak the amount of pepper a bit when I make it again.
That's it! I will update with pictures next time I make this food! Hope everyone is liking the challenge and feeling good! I want to hear what your favorite meals are so far!

Day 3

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

How is the challenge going so far? Feeling good? Are you feeling full or hungry? Are you liking the food?

First let's start with the Day 3 menu again...

For breakfast, I ate the pineapple with cottage cheese. My recommendation if this isn't your favorite meal is not to do it with fresh pineapple. When I did fresh pineapple, I couldn't stomach it, but with the small cup of pineapple in juice (juice drained) there was enough juice left to give the cottage cheese more flavor. Without that added flavor, I couldn't eat it.

Morning snack was tricks there :)

For lunch, I had flashbacks to not loving Day 1 lunch so I got a bit creative with this lunch. Instead of eating a plain tuna salad, I made a stir fry. I used bell peppers, spinach, tomatoes and the tuna. I stir fried all that together and then added cut up sweet potato to it. It was still plain and not my favorite, but I liked it better than I would have liked a plain salad.
Afternoon snack was not my favorite either. I do like a smoothie, but the plain greek yogurt has such a strong taste that I don't love. I just ordered a sampler of Shakeology which will let me try all the flavors. I am thinking about ordering it if I like one! I will keep you posted.

Dinner is great! Super easy and delicious! The first time I made it, I used the chicken tenders, but the second time I was short on time and just bought a rotisserie chicken and used the already cooked chicken and it worked perfect! I mixed my quinoa and black beans together and covered with lime juice and I liked that a lot, rather than having plain quinoa on the side. I also didn't have cilantro the second time and thought it was just as good, but I don't love cilantro so I think that is a personal preference!

That's it for Day 3! Just an FYI depending on your time, On day 4 you are going to be making steak and it calls for marinating overnight. So make sure to start marinating your steak tomorrow night! I will remind you again tomorrow!

Day 2 Tips and a Realization...

Monday, June 16, 2014

Sooo, before I talk about Day 2, I need to talk a bit about a realization I came to in New York. First, we had a great time in NYC! One day was a little touch and go because we had a tired, whiny three year old who made the rest of us tired and whiny! It was a good day to get back to the room and rest  or have a time out for a bit before dinner. Even with the rest, he was still passed out before dinner even arrived.
Poor baby! But with 12 hours of sleep, he was ready for the last full day and we had a great time! I will post more pictures from our trip later in the week!

Back to my realization. I do not have a full length mirror hanging on any walls in my house. Is this a good thing or a bad thing? Thoughts?? We had a full length mirror hanging on the wall right outside the bathroom in the hotel room. So, I got to look at my whole self every time I walked out. NOT good. That was a harsh dose of reality for me. Normally, I get dressed in the morning and I look down at myself and don't think I look too bad. Of course, I have days that my clothes don't feel great and something feels tight, and I don't feel great about myself, but for the most part, I look down and think, ok great, ready for the day. Every time I walked out of that bathroom at the hotel, I just got sad. I had bought a few new outfits for the trip and the pieces were super cute, but what I saw when I looked in the mirror was far from what I would consider cute for myself. I know what the number on the scale says, but honestly, I didn't realize how out of control my weight had gotten until this weekend. Should I have a full length mirror here at home? Hard to say, I don't know that I want to feel like I did this past week, every day of my life. I already know I am not happy with  my weight should I rub it in my face each and every day?? Or is a good motivator?? Honestly I am not sure. What I do know is that, I am done. I don't want to feel like that. I want to look in the mirror and think damn girl, you look good! :) Just kidding (or am I?) Kidding aside, I want to be comfortable in my own skin and, clearly, right now, I am not!

It is time to get serious! I am motivated by Diana and Carrie's stories (Click their names to read their stories if you haven't already) and I need to get into shape. I have no excuses. NONE! I can think of many, but they are just that, EXCUSES. I have been walking which is great, but I am going to add in an exercise video as well. I bought Beachbody's T25 a while back and only did 3 weeks. Although I loved it, things got crazy and I didn't make the time for it. That is going to change. Remember what Carrie said "don't find time to exercise, make time!" Interested in doing T25. Check out Carrie's website here and do it with me! You won't be sorry. Let's make 25 minutes a day a priority together!

As for eating, I am going to eat clean. After this 5 Day Clean Eating Challenge, I am going to continue the clean eating path. Will I be perfect every second, no, but I am going to do the best I can. Mixed with the walking and the T25, I am hoping to see some great results. And to keep myself even more accountable, along with my weekly weigh in each Friday, I will post a picture so that you all can see the transformation. I need accountability and I think that should do it!

I am starting the clean eating challenge tomorrow since we got back from NYC on Sunday and I can't grocery shop until this evening. For lunch today, I ate Macaroni and Cheese. I know I am serious about a diet when I eat Macaroni and Cheese the day before I start. Ever feel like you are eating your last meal ever the day before you start a diet? So you feel that you need to eat things that you will miss. No? It's just me?  Anyway, for me, that meal is boxed Mac n' cheese. I love it and it isn't exactly clean, so I ate it and now I am ready to get serious. Who's with  me??

Day 2 Tips and Pics...

First the menu again
Breakfast on Day 2, I couldn't stomach. I am not a plain greek yogurt fan so to only have melon to mix with it didn't cut it for me. The first time I ate as much as I could, but the second time doing the challenge I skipped to Day 3 breakfast instead.
Morning snack I did apple with almonds because I did not have Shakeology.
Day 2 lunch, is another of my favorite meals from this challenge. It is yummy! It feels like you are eating something you could get at a restaurant. So good and really so many variations, so as long as it is a veggie throw it in. Cucumbers, bell peppers, onions would all be great in this wrap!
Afternoon snack is good as well, I did baby carrots instead of cutting up a carrot.
Dinner is delicious. I didn't think I liked Salmon. I don't know if it was cooking it on the grill or the marinade, but I LOVED it. Look at all that food! Filling, Clean and Delicious! You can't beat that! Please excuse the fine china, but we ate outside this night and paper plates seemed like a good idea :)
The one thing I noticed when doing this challenge is that sometimes while I am cooking dinner, I feel sad that it is the last time I can eat for the day. I miss having a little something after dinner. But the results are worth it!
Stay Strong! 

Day 1 tips

Sunday, June 15, 2014

DAY ONE tips and tricks...

First, here is the menu again
At this point you have already grocery shopped and your cart probably looked like this after produce..

Your fridge is now filled with all these good for you foods, right??
So let's get started! Breakfast is yummy today! Probably one of my favorite breakfast ideas that I took from the challenge! It is really quick, filling and delicious! Pictured below is what it looks like and how I like to eat it. On this day I only had cherry tomatoes, but normally, I would put full tomato slices on it.

For the morning snack, I did the banana. I did not have Shakeology so I couldn't do that in the afternoon and I didn't want to eat nuts twice.
The Lunch was not one of my favorites. Although, I liked it better this time around preparing it a little differently than last time. Instead of using the 2 tbsp. of dressing on the salad as a dressing only, I first used 1 tbsp. in the tuna like mayonnaise, then I put the tuna on the lettuce with the other ingredients, added the other 1 tbsp. dressing to the salad and shook it in a Tupperware. This seemed to give the salad a little more flavor. Last time I just put plain tuna on the salad and put the dressing on, but the dressing is very thick and can be hard to get on all the stuff. Although I do like tuna, I don't really enjoy it plain so this trick worked a lot better for me!
Dinner is so good. Mike isn't a mustard fan, but liked the chicken anyway, and we both LOVED the broccoli. I love broccoli and love it plain too, but after having it this way, I don't ever want to eat it plain again. It had so much flavor!
I want to hear your comments on here. What does everyone think after doing Day One?? Questions, comments? Check in with me!


Clean Eating Challenge 5 Day Meal Plan

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Here is the meal plan for each day! I will be back tomorrow from my trip and want to hear from everyone that is doing the challenge with me, have questions? comments?? We are going to do this together and I am excited, how about you?? 


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