Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Poppin' good!

We are huge popcorn fans around our house so when we got the chance to try Kettle Brand popcorn I had to pick up as many flavors as possible. We got White Cheddar, Sriracha and Maple Bacon popcorn. We all rated them based on two thumbs up or down.

White Cheddar: Two thumbs up from everyone!
Sriracha: Two thumbs down from everyone!
Maple Bacon: Two thumbs up from the husband and kids, none from me since I don't do bacon.

It's so nice to have pre-made popcorn ready to go so I don't have to watch the microwave and make sure ours doesn't get burnt.

Which flavor do you want to try? Kettle Brand popcorn and real potato chips can be purchased at Kroger.

*All opinions are mine and my family's but I was provided with free product and coupons to try the varieties from being a BzzAgent


Monday, December 29, 2014

My year in books - 2014

I'm pretty sure I did a post like this last year, let me check. Oh yep there it is! I set a very pie in the sky high goal of reading 65 books this year. And well I certainly didn't make that goal! But that's ok. I read so many books last year because I was traveling back and forth to work with nothing else to do and spending an hour of my lunch break doing nothing in that tiny little town so I read a lot. This year though, I got my new job in March so I haven't had as much travel time and no more boring lunches. I am happy to report that I managed to read 39 books this year! Here's a quick look.
Now let's talk about five of my favorites:
1. Eat & Run - loved the insight into long distance running and the role that food plays on that journey.
2. The Husband's Secret - I couldn't put this one down, must-read for sure!
3. Year of No Sugar - I was on a bit of a food kick this year - I don't think I could go a year, but this was a really interesting read.
4. Big Little Lies - There was a bunch of hype here and it certainly lived up to my expectations.
5. Orange Is the New Black - I read this and then I started the Netflix series. I'm not addicted, ok I am.

And here were a few that disappointed me:
1. The Interestings - So many good reviews, I just couldn't get into it.
2. Let's Pretend This Never Happened - I love her blog, but the book just wasn't the same.
3. Nadia Knows Best - I've loved so many of Jill's books, but this just wasn't one of them.
4. I Hope They Serve Beer In Hell - Just no. Don't even waste your time looking up a review for this one.
5. A Mile In My Flip-Flops - It was just average, I wouldn't rush out to read this one.

Read any winners that I should add to my list for 2015?

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Try, try again

How many times will I try? I keep asking myself this every time I start to eat better and maybe start to work out. It never lasts long and I know I'll have to try, try again later. 
I spent most of today helping the girls clean their rooms and being pretty lazy. Suddenly I came across the kids Zumba game for the Wii we had gotten A for her birthday ... in June. We've never played it. What a waste. So I immediately gathered the girls and put it in and we got our Zumba on until dinner (20 minutes). It felt good. Even though I've been pushing off being sick for the past couple of weeks. Maybe some extra oxygen flowing through my lungs will do me some good. After dinner we got out the Just Dance and danced it out (25 minutes). Why can't every day be like this?

It seems like I always have good intentions to make good choices when it comes to eating and working out. But somehow my lack of effort always wins out. 

Here's my list of things that would make my fit lifestyle achievable:

  • Personal Chef - healthy meals on demand, yes please!
  • Calorie-free Chocolate - I can't live without my chocolate, let's make it healthy
  • Fitness Classes in my Home - I don't have time to go to the gym, let's just do all the classes I want at my house.
    [pin it]
  • Fitness Wardrobe - you need cute clothes to work out, it's like a rule
    [pin it]
  • Skinny Mirrors - those mirrors that make you look really good even when you don't
  • Daily Massages - I'm going to get sore with all these fitness classes, I'll need a good rub down every day
  • Good Weather - I would go running daily if it was about 70* and partly cloudy
    [pin it]
  • Magic Pills - you know, some pills that make you lose weight while you sleep
    [pin it]
  • New Clothes - all this fitness and good eating will make me look so good that I'll need a gorgeous new wardrobe to go with it all

I guess I'll keep on dreaming, or I'll just keep trying.

[pin it]

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Easy recipe week

After 5 brand-new recipes last week we are only doing 1 new one this week and the rest are easy family favorites. If you want to know how the new recipes turned out check back to last week's post and see our ratings!

MONDAY: Chicken & Spinach Pasta Bake

WEDNESDAY: Ham & Cheese Croissant Roll-Ups
THURSDAY: Chili & Grilled Cheese
FRIDAY: Meatloaf, Mashed Potatoes & Green Beans

I'm looking forward to this easy week of cooking. As we are trying to wrap up all the Christmas shopping and wrapping the presents. And then we have our annual Christmas party on Saturday where everyone can sport their ugliest Christmas sweaters and play games to win white elephant gifts. 

Sunday, December 7, 2014

New recipe week!

After this week's dismal performance of a meal plan. I made a real dinner on Monday and then deemed Tuesday-Friday each person's choice. So Tuesday was me, Wednesday was A, Thursday was the husband and Friday was J. Basically that person just got a say in what we had for dinner that night. It was usually all over the place and I was disappointed we didn't have a meal plan to go along with our busy week. We are headed toward the holidays so it's back on track this week. Since last week was a free for all (no new recipes), I've decided this week will only be new recipes! All recipes are coming from my sorely neglected Pinterest boards. Here's the plan ...

MONDAY: Skillet Lasagna (3 out of 4 stars)
I love lasagna, so do the kids, but it's such a chore to make. This skillet version is easier and healthier, sign me up!

TUESDAY: Mexican Lasagna (4 out of 4 stars)
I know it sounds like I'm on a lasagna kick, but this one is made with tortillas and not noodles. And since it's Taco Tuesday we needed something Mexican food related for tonight's dinner. I'll probably need to make another batch of taco seasoning as I'm about out - check out this easy way to make your own!

WEDNESDAY: Ranch Pork Chops with Mashed Potatoes (2 out of 4 stars)
This recipe looks super easy and so delicious. They recommend making with garlic mashed potatoes but I know that won't go over well with the kids. I'll save time for the potatoes and cheat with instant (shhh!). And it's a crock pot recipe!

THURSDAY: Grilled Cheese Pizza Sandwiches (4 out of 4 stars)
Pizza and grilled cheese together - shut up!

FRIDAY: Beef & Potato Stew (4 out of 4 stars - This was awesome!)
Two slow cooker meals this week! I've been wanting some beef stew so I hope this one is a winner.

Got any new recipes I should add to my boards? Let's hope this turns into a successful meal plan week!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

November is done - here comes December

I've been setting 3 goals a month for myself. October wasn't too bad - I got a 2/3. November on the other hand ... well I give myself a 1.5/3. Here's a reminder of each goal and how I did this month.

1. Save it, don't spend it. 
Well this one sounded good. But I only give myself a half a golden star. For some reason I thought a $100 Target shopping spree in the middle of November was a good idea and I didn't even buy anything we absolutely needed. Whoops.

2. Start a cleaning schedule.
Um, well I actually cleaned my house a couple times this month. But ... no schedule in sight.

3. Take time to have fun. 
I'll give myself a full golden star here. We did a lot of small things throughout the month that kept fun top of mind. I think it was much needed for me, the kids and the husband.

So this brings us to December. First, how the heck is it December already? I started my new job back in March and I can't believe I'm months away from a 1 year anniversary there. For December I'm keeping things simple. At the beginning of the year I set a word for 2014.
I'm determined to end the year strong and continue to work towards my word of the year. I feel like I've done a good job this year of embracing the life that I've been given and making the best of it. Some of the things I talked about doing back when I wrote that post were finding a new job (done!) and spending more time with my family (accomplished!). 
I feel lucky to have a beautiful home, two healthy daughters and a loving husband. It's hard to remember sometimes that others are less fortunate. I don't want my kids to take the things they have for granted. Part of "living" for December will be to help those around us who need it. We've been picking up items that we will be donating to some organizations that could really use it. 

  • The Children's Hope House is place for families to stay while their children are receiving care at the hospital. We are very lucky to have healthy kids so we'll be dropping off some items from their wishlist.
  • Vincent Village helps homeless families get back on their feet. Again, we are very lucky to have a nice home to live in so we'll be dropping off some items from their wishlist as well.
So what are everyone's goals for December? Do you make donations during the holidays?

Saturday, November 22, 2014

What's cookin?

I was way too busy last week to post our meal plan so here's the delayed run down ...
MONDAY: Chicken Melts
TUESDAY: Taco Casserole
THURSDAY: Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup
FRIDAY: Leftovers or Do Whatever You Want
The Taco Casserole was a new recipe for us and everyone liked it - glad to find a winner - the previous week's Chicken Tortilla Stew was a bust, we made chicken tacos instead. 

This week's plan (posted early!) looks like this ...
MONDAY: Breakfast for Dinner - most likely eggs and pancakes
TUESDAY: Quesadillas
WEDNESDAY: Chicken Spaghetti - one pot?! You are speaking my language!

THURSDAY: Turkey day! Our plans are still up in the air, but I'm sure some turkey will be involved.
FRIDAY: Buffet Day - We will most likely be lazing around the house so we will do a Buffet Day. Pick a bunch of random stuff from the cabinets and freezer and put on cookie sheets. Then we all gather around the living room and much while we watch movies.

Any new recipes we should try for next week? I try to make one brand-new recipe a week so we don't get stuck in any ruts. 

Monday, November 10, 2014

On the table this week

Well we made it through another week which included 1 sick child - of course that leads to this week which includes 1 more sick child. If I get sick, I'm gonna be angry! I hate being sick. But our dinners won't suffer because we have a meal plan!

MONDAY, November 10:
Tater-Topped Casserole - This is a family favorite and I haven't made it for awhile. Tater tots were on sale a few weeks back so I knew I had to make this one!

TUESDAY, November 11:
Chicken Tortilla Stew - I pinned this one awhile back and thought we'd try it out for our normal Taco Tuesday adventure.

WEDNESDAY, November 12:
Spaghetti - This was a special request from the kids. They love spaghetti and it will be easy to throw together since Wednesdays are swim lesson nights.

THURSDAY, November 13:
Make Your Own Wraps with Veggies & Chips - I need a night off, so I'll lay everything out and everyone can assemble their own wraps with veggies and chips on the side. Quick and easy and nobody can complain because they made their own :)

FRIDAY, November 14:
Ham & Cheese Braid - Here's another one I pinned awhile back as a freezer meal idea, but I thought we'd try it first and then we can make a freezer version later if it is a winner.

What are you eating this week?

Monday, November 3, 2014

Goals & Planning

I decided to set a few goals for October. I successfully hit 2 of the 3 goals. See this is why I don't set more than 3 - because 2 of 3 is good. 2 out of 5, not so much.
Goal 1: Meal planning - I nailed this! Check out this and this and this if you are looking for some ideas or to see what we ate. Also check out the bottom of this post for what we are eating this week.
Goal 2: Get active - I give myself 1.5 stars. We did a 3 hour hiking adventure this month but that's about it for getting active. There may have been a bike ride in there as well but for the most part - well let's not talk about it.
Goal 3: Read more - I'm on it! I finished The Interestings - I wasn't ultra impressed with this one, but I pushed myself to finish it. I also just started The Vactioners. We also made a trip to the library where I encouraged A to pick out some "good fit books" that were more geared toward her reading level.
That brings us to November. What do I want to accomplish this month?
1. Save it, don't spend it: Black Friday shopping happens this month and there are some big items on the list this year. So until shopping day I'm putting myself on a stricter spending budget. 
2. Start a cleaning schedule: Keeping the house clean is my least favorite task. I'm sorry if that offends anyone. I don't like dirt, but I sure hate cleaning dirt. I want to implement a cleaning schedule for the whole family so nobody is stuck doing it all and everyone has to help out.
3. Take time to have fun: I think when things get so busy we forget to just relax and spend a lazy Sunday doing nothing but playing games or watching movies. I want to make sure I carve out some time each week for having fun.

I'm happy to say we are continuing with meal planning. This week's options were all proposed directly from each family member - so nobody will be unhappy all week long :)

MONDAY, November 3: 
Meatloaf and Green Beans - During the week I tend to do meatloaf in a cupcake pan so it cooks in a fraction of the time as a loaf would. And you get more crispy edges (my favorite!).

TUESDAY, November 4:

WEDNESDAY, November 5:
Pizza Pasta Bake - The girls have swimming tonight, but since I leave work early I can prep everything before swimming and heat it in the crock pot while we are gone.

THURSDAY, November 6: 
Grilled Cheese and Chili - This is the perfect fall meal. Even though the girls will pick out the beans in the chili, they are still big grilled cheese fans so everyone wins!

FRIDAY, November 7:
Mom's Night Off - Dinner Out! This completely contradicts my first goal of the month but my husband suggested it since we've been saving so much money with meal planning. 

So tell me ... what are you goals, what are you eating or what are you doing this month?

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Food allergies and teal pumpkins

I can completely sympathize and relate to those with food allergies, or other mamas that have kids with food allergies. My oldest daughter has struggled with food allergies since she was born. The first diagnosis of a milk, egg, peanut and tree nut allergy was tough to comprehend. What? My child can't drink milk, isn't that essential to a growing child's body?! Oh, not only can she not drink it, but it can't be used in any form in any of the foods that she eats?! 

I probably took this news much better than most parents. While I was going through college I was a substitute teacher at a daycare. One of the little boys that I always had in my classes was allergic to milk. We aren't talking lactose intolerant but allergic to milk protein. I got use to what he was allowed and not allowed to have at breakfast, snack and lunch. I learned to read labels just to ensure that what I was giving him was 100% safe. I learned a lot about food allergies from my job as a daycare worker. I saw kids with all kinds of allergies - corn, strawberries, blue dye, nuts, peanuts, milk, eggs, wheat - the list goes on and on. It was a common occurrence to walk into a new room and the first thing I would do was determine who had a food allergy and what that food allergy was. I guess it made sense that my first child would be born with food allergies. I was prepared. 

The one thing I wasn't prepared for was how unprepared and unaware other parents, adults, teachers, babysitters, etc were about food allergies. We interviewed new sitters, I always brought up that we had a child with severe food allergies. One lady said "So if she can't eat mac & cheese or pb&j what does she eat?". I was shocked. Not only did this lady not know what good nutrition was, but she really couldn't fathom what my child would be eating on a daily basis. I ran into this a lot. "She can't have anything with milk in it? How about some M&Ms?" I wasn't prepared to have to teach every person who encountered my child how to read labels, that yes milk chocolate really contains milk, the difference between lactose intolerant and a milk protein allergy. It was overwhelming. 

Luckily we've moved on from those days. Everyone in our family knows how to use an Epi-Pen and knows to administer Benadryl at the first sign of a reaction. I personally stocked each person's house with an Epi-Pen and Benadryl so there would be no option of "we don't have that on hand, sorry". We were fortunate to have her cleared of her milk allergy at age 6, but her peanut & tree nut allergies have continued to worsen. Each accidental exposure makes the reactions worse. The biggest struggle we still face is holidays.

Halloween is a big deal at our house. It's all about candy, pumpkins, scary stuff and having fun. The candy is the issue. I use to keep extra candy (smarties, lollipops, hard candies) on hand so once she returned from trick-or-treating she could turn in her allergy filled candies for something she could actually eat. Now at 7 she can spot a safe candy item in a bowl and make that choice, but there are still people who only hand out Snickers, Peanut M&Ms and Almond Joys  (those seem to be most popular in our neighborhood) so she has a choice to make. Does she take the candy she can't eat and give it to her parents or does she walk away with nothing? Either way she loses. 

I was so happy when I came across the Teal Pumpkin Project. FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education) has started this campaign to get people to have non-food items available during Halloween. This way when a child with a food allergy - no matter what allergy that is - arrives at your door they can be offered a small trinket/toy instead of something potentially life threatening. This idea is not to replace candy for those kids who can have it, it is to offer an alternative to those who cannot have the candy. To show trick-or-treaters that you are participating, place a teal painted pumpkin by your door and consider hanging up this sign.
Together we can make this a safe and fun holiday for all kids. Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Embracing fall + what we are eating this week

We had the most perfect weather this weekend so of course we spent most of our weekend outside enjoying the fall weather.
Saturday while the Daddy person was at work, the girls and I met up with some friends at a U-Pick Apple Orchard. They also had u-pick pumpkins available. There were about 20 varieties of apples available and we could pick them right off the trees or find ones that had fallen to the ground. Then we explored the 1.5 acre pumpkin field. Pumpkins of every shape, color and size were available for picking. Once we made our selections I told the owner that I had a pumpkin problem - I wanted them all! We ended up with 5 pumpkins, 6 mini pumpkins/gourds, a ton of apples and a spaghetti squash for $30. 
Then on Sunday, since it was so nice again we made our way to Salamonie Reservoir to go hiking. We spent almost 3 hours hiking around the woods - it was perfect! My SIL, niece and nephew came along.
There's a lot going on this week, so I kept out meal plan fairly basic. 
MONDAY - October 27:
Pancakes, eggs and bacon - breakfast for dinner is always a winner!

TUESDAY - October 28:
Tacos - you can't go wrong with tacos and refried beans

WEDNESDAY - October 29: 
Swimming lessons start tonight so we are keeping it low key with a Salad Bar. Set everything out, everyone makes their own salad, everyone is happy! :)

THURSDAY - October 30:
Chicken Alfredo - I'm cheating and having the Stouffer's help me out with this one 

FRIDAY - October 31: 
Happy Halloween! Can't let dinner get in the way of getting candy so I'm allowing this to be a divided night. Mac & Cheese for the kids and I'm thinking Chinese for the parents :)

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Shop like a blogger - buy from a blogger

I love to see when my favorite bloggers take a risk and start up something that they are passionate about. I love to see all their creative ideas! Many of my favorites have ventured in to the world of making some of the best shirts around. So I decided I should share the love and showcase a few of my favorite purchases and a few that are on my wishlist!

IWYP by Whitney Ellen
Whitney cracks me up on the weekly on her blog, I Wore Yoga Pants to Work. She has some of the best one liners on her blog and she turned a few of her sayings into amazing shirts. Did I mention you also get a matching coozie with every shirt purchase? Amazing!

Venus Trapped in Mars Fan Shop by Sarah
Sarah's blog keeps me up-to-date on everything sports - if I lived in Dallas I'm sure we'd be friends! Not only does she nail the sports thing every time, she is an incredible designer. Her blog designs & prints can be found in her etsy shop, but my favorite lies in her witty shirts available in her Fan Shop.

The Modern Tulip Boutique by Maegen
Not only is Maegen the cutest pregnant blogger I follow but she started up her own shop to sell pieces that she truly loves. 

Heart & Arrow Design by Whitney Blake
Whitney's designs make me want to keep track of everything and decorate every wall with her super cute prints. I can't wait to see what she comes up with for the holidays; I may not be able to resist! 

Two Thirds Hazel by Erin Gray
Erin's blog is one my favorites to check in on. Her design skills always wow me and I was excited that she took the plunge to start selling her prints. I can't wait to see what new prints she comes up with next.
Simply Sun Signs by Desiree Roby
I love astrology and Desiree has taken it to a whole new level. Not only does she offer personalized chart readings, but she has adorable tanks and WINE! 
Who are some of your favorite bloggers turned shop owners? I'd love to check them out and support those in search of their dream.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Meal Planning Continues!

I'm happy to report that I have carried on the meal planning for this week. This is a great way to try new recipes and make sure that we don't get stuck in a dinner rut.

MONDAY - October 20: 
Spaghetti with Garlic Bread and Broccoli - a family favorite!

TUESDAY - October 21:
Double Decker Taco Cupcakes  - I've had this one pinned for awhile & we are finally going to try it out. I hope it turns out well or Taco Night will be a bust!

WEDNESDAY - October 22:
Slow Cooker Cheesy Chicken and Rice - Pinterest is helping me out this week, as I've had this one pinned for awhile too.

THURSDAY - October 23:
Turkey & Cheese Melts with peppers & carrots

FRIDAY - October 24:
Homemade Pizza - another family favorite! We make our own dough which will make two 9x13 dishes of pizza so the kids get to top one while the parents get to top the other. Win-win!

Both girls start swimming lessons next week on Wednesday nights so this should make meal planning even more essential. I feel the slow cooker becoming more and more necessary.

What's your plan for the week? Anything tasty on the menu?

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Meal Planning

Why haven't I jumped on the meal planning bandwagon sooner?! My evenings are so much less chaotic and I'm pretty sure I'm spending less at the grocery on a weekly basis - that makes for a win in my book. Oh and I can actually plan healthy meals so I'm not sabotaging myself with unhealthy meals on the go. Here's what we are eating this week:

MONDAY: Oct 13
Stuffed Shells with green veggie side - I made double the shells and froze a batch (I love freezer meals!). I normally wouldn't make sure an involved meal on a weekday but I prepped everything Sunday afternoon so all I have to do is pop it in the oven when I get home.

Taco Bar - the kids love making their own tacos, all I have to do is lay out all the fixings!

Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup (with a pickle on the side) - this is a family favorite and it's perfect for fall.

Sub sandwiches with broccoli salad - it's BINGO night at school, so we needed this to be quick and easy. I'll probably assemble the broccoli salad the night before so all I have to do is add the dressing.

FRIDAY: Oct 17
Fiesta Ranch Burgers with crinkle cut fries and leftover broccoli salad

Do you meal plan? For busy families I highly recommend it! How do you decide what makes the meal plan each week?

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

October Goals

I've learned that making a bunch of goals doesn't work well for me. Three is my max. Three I can focus on. Three is manageable.

1. Meal planning: We are on week 3 of meal planning at my house and so far I'm loving it. Our evenings run much smoother when there is a plan for dinner. The age old question "What's for dinner?" never comes up because there is a list posted for everyone to see. And only 1 person in the house can't read so that's not really a problem :) I want to keep the meal planning going, I think it will help get me back on the healthy eating track (which also ties into a goal below)

2. Get active: This has been a weird summer in Indiana. Lots of rain, not very warm and it all meant that I am severely lacking in the activity category. Even if it continues to be rainy and not very warm, I want to be committed to moving more. Whether that's outside (all bundled up) or inside with a Jillian Michaels DVD.

3. Spend more time reading: We got Netflix about 6 weeks ago and I feel like I've been sucked in. Not to mention that fall TV is back so all my favorites are back on (Scandal, Grey's Anatomy and the new How to Get Away With Murder) which takes up my Thursday night. We also just learned that A is falling behind in reading and is "on the bubble" for needing remedial help. I want to step up my own reading (I'm 16 books behind schedule!) to meet my goal for the year. And I want to spend more time reading with A so that she can improve her reading skills. We are taking suggestions for easy chapter books. :)

What are your goals for the month of October?

Thursday, September 25, 2014

6 things you should know about me

Jacq from over at Just Jacq has come up with 6 questions for Things You Should Know About Me. So I decided to join along.

What's something new you have learned recently?
I don't have a great answer here so I'm going to say meal planning. It's not rocket science but I realized last week when I had a meal plan that my evenings ran much smoother and I was eating better. It takes a little bit of time but then every day I know what we are having for dinner and have a list of stuff to buy at the store at the beginning of the week. It just makes everything so much easier!

What actor would play you in a movie about your life?
I'm going to have to go with Jennifer Love Hewitt. I was always told I looked like her growing up.
But if she's not available I'll take Jennifer Garner. What's up with me and the Jennifers??

What is your most embarrassing memory?
I've been racking my brain on this one. I'm typically not too clumsy and don't really embarrass easily so this was a tough one. I do recall a time when I was trying on jeans at a store and had the girls with me. They began asking questions and commenting, rather loudly, like "Mommy, what kind of panties do you have on?" and "Mommy, your butt doesn't fit in those jeans" and "Mommy, why's your belly so big when you have those pants on?". The sales girl knocked to see if I need any help, I just ran out of the room and said nothing worked. I didn't buy any pants that day.

How do you like to show others love? Or what is your love language?
I had no idea what my love language is so I took this handy quiz and it let me know! All areas are out of 12. Turns out I am a 9 for Words of Affirmation, 8 for Physical Touch, 7 for Acts of Service, 6 for Quality Time and 0 for Receiving Gifts. Ha and here I thought I liked presents. 

If you were given $100 to spend, where would you spend it?
This is tough. The responsible side of my brain says "Save it!" but the shopping part of my brain says "Get a manicure and some new boots!"

What's a dream you are working towards making come true?
Being healthy and fit. This has been hard on me lately, but I know that it is really important to living a long and happy life. 
Or maybe I should just become Olivia Pope - Scandal's back tonight! :)

Play along - let me know your answers to these 6 questions!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

What's eating me?

Eating has always been something I enjoyed. When I was in middle and high school I could eat anything and everything and still be stick thin. Every adult said "Enjoy it now, metabolism will catch up with you" What does that even mean? I'm a teenager, I'm invisible. 

I'm not the girl who would order the salad to impress the boy. I would down 7 crunchy tacos in one sitting and consider dessert afterwards. I threw myself a little party complete with a bowl of ice cream when I finally hit 100 lbs. I never thought that day would happen.

Then I my senior year of high school, I moved out with my boyfriend (now husband) and ate even worse than before. Take out, boxed food, frozen food. It was all my friend. The pounds started creeping on but it didn't bother me, I'd still rock a bikini. 

I got married and was happy with my body, I was slipping away from my 100lb celebration party but I was still happy. Within 4 months of getting married I was pregnant. 

"I'm eating for two" I would tell myself. "The baby needs more food" I would rationalize. I'm supposed to get big, I'm pregnant. Nobody told me I should exercise. I continued to eat and gained almost 50 lbs. "It's just the baby, I didn't do anything wrong"

I had to have my wedding ring cut off 6 weeks after having A. I was traumatized. Aren't you supposed to lose weight after having a baby? Why was I still 40lbs heavier than I remember being? I joined some ladies at work for a Biggest Loser style challenge. I committed to eating better and exercising every chance I could. I was teased for losing the most weight in the challenge. I must have cheated. Nobody congratulated me, everyone just pushed their failure to lose the pounds onto me - like I did something to make them not lose more weight.

I knew the next time I got pregnant I would take better care of myself. And I did. I only gained 30lbs with J and promptly lost 20lbs within months of giving birth. I still wasn't happy with the way I looked - what happened to that stick thin girl that could eat everything. No bikinis for this mama - ever.

I started running. I thought "this is cheap, this is easy - I can lose weight doing this". Well I was right about 2 things. Running is cheap and it is easy but I wasn't losing any weight. I thought if I pushed myself harder I would lose more weight. I signed up for races. I participated in challenges online and on social media to try and hold myself accountable for what I was eating and how much I was moving. I tried tracking my food intake and calories burned through exercise. If anything, I gained more weight. 

This is where your emotions start to mess with you. This is where the anxiety that you thought you dealt with years ago and was gone starts to resurface. This is where you decide to give up.

Once again this week I'm jumping back on the fitness bus. I planned healthy meals, I ran on Sunday to start off the week well. I need a change. I need a way to stay motivated. I can read all the fitness blogs I want, follow only fitness IG accounts for workout tips and pin all the inspirational quotes that I want to. But in the end it does nothing for me.

Suddenly I'll get inspired. I measure my cereal the next morning, pack a healthy lunch and eat well for dinner. By the time 24 hours has passed, I've long forgotten about my healthy plans. Heck I didn't even work out the day before. 

Maybe my problem is I have nobody to hold me accountable. I'm apparently not good enough to do it myself. I've tried relying on my blog as a place for accountability but let's be honest ... if I cheat a day or 12 all I have to do is not post about it and it's like it never happened. 

I'm not looking for a long list of ways to keep on top of this. I've sort of just decided that I need to woman-up and do it myself.

Here's to hoping that the bus doesn't crash before Saturday this time around.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Birthday time

My birthday is on Saturday. Normally I don't make a fuss or even admit it's my birthday. Most of the time I forget how old I actually am. Am I the only one who does this?
For some reason this year I'm sort of excited it's my birthday. I always make a big deal out of my kids' birthdays but never my own.

So for anyone who wants to buy me a birthday present here are 10 things I wouldn't mind receiving (I won't actually receive any of these but it's nice to dream)

1. A day away at the spa - complete with any spa treatments I'd like and a continuous flow of wine slushies
2. Some cute graphic tees - like this one from Old Navy
3. Monthly mani-pedis on the schedule for the next year and someone who will push me out of the house to go without feeling guilty
4.  A new phone - too bad the release of the Samsung Galaxy S6 won't happen until 2015 now. It looks so awesome
Samsung Galaxy Concept 
5.  A super cute daily planner to keep me organized at work. I love this one from Heart & Arrow - Whitney is a creative genius!
Seafoam Hourly Notepad Day Planner, Deskpad, Custom Notepad, 8.5x11in 
6.  Send me on a fun family vacation - at no expense to us, of course. I'm thinking a Europe tour - oh can someone buy my whole family passports too?
7. A housekeeper - I need someone to clean my house. I hate cleaning. It's a never-ending battle. If this housekeeper did laundry too, well that would just be icing on the cake!
8.  Astrology reading from Desiree at Simply Sun Signs - I may or may not stalk her blog on the regular
9. A body that will allow me to eat as much dark chocolate and fountain Diet Coke that I want without any health ramifications for eating like a teenager.
10. A new pair of running shoes, because let's be honest -- #9 isn't happening so I'm going to need some cute shoes to get me motivated to workout more often.
A bonus, why not it's my birthday. World peace. I mean everyone wants that for their birthday right?

So are you big into birthdays? Or is it just another day?

Monday, June 16, 2014

Race Ready #InASnap

I completed my first timed race of the year a couple weeks ago, boy am I out of shape! I was slow, like really slow. I need to step up my game but I just can't get the weather to cooperate. It's either raining or scorching hot outside, I can't seem to get a nice day for running. 

As I was getting ready for this race (why do they have to start so dang early?!) I look down to realize that the night before I missed a section of my legs while shaving. I couldn't possible run looking like that so my Gillette Venus Snap came to the rescue!
This super cute little razor from Gillette is amazing! I love the carrying case (which has ventilation holes in the back). Don't think this is your standard disposable razor, this little gal will get the job done just as well as the full size version. I can't wait for my next vacation, this will be in my bag for sure! 

Now all I need is some good running weather and I'll knock my next race out of the park!

*I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes. All opinions are my own. If you'd like to join Infuenster to try out new products shoot me an email and I'll give you an invite!

Friday, May 16, 2014

On my bookshelf

I've been slacking on my reading this year. Last year I killed it with 64 books read.. I thought for sure this year I could do 65. Well I got a new job in March and haven't had my two hours of commuting every day to read and my hour long lunch break so I've been slacking in the reading department. I've only read 20 books so I'm 4 books behind schedule -- thanks to Goodreads keepin' track for me :)

I'm currently reading Nadia Knows Best from Jill Mansell. I really like that Jill's books are a quick read, so I decided to try this one out.
I'm always on the look out to add new books to my "to read" list. Anyone have any suggestions?

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Baked Stuffed Tacos

We have a new favorite Mexican dish around our house lately. Let me introduce you to Baked Stuffed Tacos!

These yummy tacos will be making an appearance more often in our house now. Best of all I almost always have everything I need on hand!

You'll need:

  • Refried Beans
  • Ground beef or turkey or whatever sort of meat you like
  • Shredded cheese
  • Hard shell tacos
  • Any toppings your family likes

Line up your tacos in a baking dish 8x8 or 13x9 depending on how big your family is. Add a spoonful of refried beans as your first layer in bottom of each taco.
Next take your cooked ground meat (cook it with your usual taco seasoning) and add a spoonful on top of the beans as layer number 2. I used ground turkey and nobody in my family even noticed because our seasoning is so good :)
Now take the shredded cheese, whatever kind you like. I used a taco blend and sprinkle it on top of the meat. If your family really likes cheesy tacos then add more cheese.
Now for the best part. Bake it! Put it in a 350* oven for about 10 minutes or until the cheese is melty and everything has heated through. I usually use hot, freshly cooked meat so all you are really heating are the beans. For me the best part is that to get to this part has only taken a few minutes depending on if you need to cook the meat or not. And it was all super easy!
Oh yum! Look at that goodness. While everything was in the oven you can get all your toppings ready. Then let everyone top their own taco with what they want. Make it taco bar style to keep everyone involved and having fun.
My kids love these because they love the crunchiness of the hard shell tacos but they always get frustrated when they break apart after the first bite. Since these are filled with the refried beans they sort of act like a glue and help to hold the shell together. 

Try them out, let me know what you think!