4.15.2015

21 Day Fix: Round 1 Done!

On Monday, I finished my first round of 21 Day Fix and I thought that I would give you a little update on my progress.

Weight Lost: 8lbs.

Inches Lost: It's a long story, but the Rev and I apparently stink at body measurements since my numbers were up from when we measured at the beginning of the round. I'll get corrected measurements and update inches lost at the end of Round 2.

Exercise: I exercised every day of the round, minus a few that we were out of town for Spring Break. I really like the format of the DVD's, 60 seconds of exercise, 15 second break for 30 minutes. I was using a resistance band that I had, but the Rev bought me weights for Round 2, so I'm excited to push myself a little harder. I'm also going to add some walking into this next round as well.

Food: I didn't use the containers in this round, I find them a little intimidating to be honest, but I have been tracking calories (1,500 per day) using My Fitness Pal. I'm learning all that I can about clean eating and planning to incorporate a little at a time this round, using the containers. I have been using Shakeology as my breakfast choice and I really like it.

Water: I'm up to 4 water bottles (12 - 8oz servings) a day!

On to Round 2!

4.14.2015

Tipsy Tuesday (#307)

Elise brings home artwork from preschool every week and the collection is rapidly taking over. With 16 years of school left for her, I know that we cannot possibly save every piece of artwork.

Tip #307

Consider any one of BuzzFeed's 19 Genius Ways to Immortalize Your Kids' Artwork or consider one of these apps suggested by Heather over at The Pioneer Woman Homeschooling section to save those crafts digitally.

I am leaning toward a yearly collage (see example in photo) or book of the favorite projects that she creates, and then saving only those most special pieces in a file box for safekeeping. But I have to also say that I have heard great things about the Keepy app, so that might be a possibility, too.

What do you do with artwork that your children create?

4.07.2015

Tipsy Tuesday (#306)

We are heading off on a little Spring Break getaway later this week. 

Tip #306

It never hurts to brush up on what you should (and shouldn't) pack.

For short trips, we share a suitcase between The Rev, Elise and I, so Her Campus' list of things to pack and their helpful infographic to determine if you need it or not will surely come in handy.

Have you already had spring Break? Vacation or Staycation?

4.06.2015

What Elise Wore: Butterfly Easter Dress

We enjoyed a beautiful Resurrection Sunday surrounded by family, friends, our faith, and of course, food! A new addition to this year's Easter activities was the blooming cross that we all added flowers to at the end of our Easter services, a perfect symbol of the new life that we receive in Christ. And a perfect backdrop for photos of my girl in her butterfly dress (remember how we settled on butterflies here?). I hope your day was as wonderful as ours!

{Dress: DIY by me; pattern here, cardigan: Koala Kids (consignment), black mary janes: Circo (Target), ruffle socks and polka dot hairbow: Faded Glory (WalMart)}

3.31.2015

Tipsy Tuesday (#305)

Take a few extra precautions to protect your four legged family members this Easter weekend.

Tip # 305

Remember these great tips from The Animal Rescue Site:

"Easter is just around the corner, and it's a time when flowers bloom and baby animals begin their new life. Many people celebrate the season by placing flowers around their house, planting seeds in their gardens or filling Easter baskets with candy. However, some of the most common decorative items found during the holiday can be harmful for your dogs or cats. Protect your pet this Easter by keeping them away from these toxic objects:"

Easter lily
This gorgeous flower has long white petals and yellow stamen, and it's toxic for cats. In fact, the Food and Drug Administration warns pet owners that eating the entire pod (petals and stamen together) could be very harmful to the animal. Even if your cat licks the plant, you should call your vet.


Cyclamen
Another flower, cyclamen has upswept petals in a range of colors. Avoid placing these in your house as they are toxic to cats and dogs. Ingesting the tubers can cause seizures and death while the petals might induce diarrhea and vomiting.


Candies
If your kids' Easter baskets are filled with candy, keep a close eye on your dog. Chocolate is bad for them, as is xylitol, a sugar substitute that may cause liver failure. 

Easter grass
Many people line their Easter baskets with a plastic grass filler. Cats especially enjoy playing with the grass. However, if your pet ingests it, the grass could block its intestine and cause irritation. 


3.26.2015

From Yellow To Orange To Butterflies

If you do not know, let me be the first to tell you...2 years old are opinionated. They will tell you exactly what they do and do not want to wear. You can make Elise's day by giving her something with pockets and send her into orbit by picking the wrong pair of fuzzy socks.

Daddy thought it might be nice for her to have a yellow Easter dress since she doesn't wear that color often. I wasn't 100% sold (I was worried that it would wash her out since she is pale like her Mama and has light hair) but I found a beautiful yellow and turquoise fabric and started planning her dress.

Then she informed me that she wanted an orange dress..and  she reminded me every day that she wanted an orange Easter dress...all I could see was pumpkins and Tennessee Volunteers, it was awful, but she would not be swayed. So search #2 for fabric was on and I finally settled on a fabric that had a nice amount of orange in it but plenty of pink and aqua to satisfy me as well. I showed it to her...her response, "Where are the butterflies?" My response? "YOU ARE KILLING ME, SMALLS!"

We took deep breaths, I let her go to the computer with me and my 2 year old picked out her butterfly fabric...pics of her dress to come.

3.24.2015

Tipsy Tuesday (#304)

I think that those EOS lip balms are just too cute!

Tip #304

So, I love the idea of reusing the container once the lip balm is gone.

It can be used to store jewelry for travel, hold a few pills, or even change ($3 in quarters will fit inside!). And they are so small that they take up practically no space so they would be perfect for toting around in your gym or sports practice bags!

3.23.2015

Cinderella Cheesecake


I have no clue why my choice for this month's Cake Slice Baker's selection is called Cinderella Cheesecake, but I saw peanut butter and chocolate and I was in! Slightly more involved than my few past bakes from the book, but so worth it. I baked it for a work potluck luncheon today, so I've only tasted all of the elements separately, but they were enough to convince me that I am a new fan of brownie crust filled with peanut butter cheesecake. And appropriate, since Elise got to meet Cinderella at the local movie theater last week!

 
  

3.20.2015

You Have To Start Somewhere...

When all of this drama forced me to give up my diet soda, I bought a fancy new water bottle. I found that once I had the right water bottle - for me that means one with a straw - and a splash of lime was added, I don't mind the water so much. I'm up to 3 bottles a day, which is huge for me.


Once I conquered the water, I knew it was time to get focused on adding in some exercise. I used to go to the gym before Elise was born, but going now would mean sacrificing the already short amount of time that I have with her in the evenings, so I need something that I can do at home. Jill began talking about the 21 Day Fix (a combination of a portion control system and exercise DVD's) and it seemed like something that I wanted to try. As luck would have it, I found a friend getting rid of her system for next to nothing, so I am going to sit down with it this weekend and study it all and get a meal plan worked out and start my first workout.
The final piece of the puzzle? It is time to retire my 7 year old Easy Spirit sneakers that the Rev's Mom gave me and come into this century. The Rev took me shoe shopping on our date night last week and even though I kicked and screamed because they have no just plain white shoes (ya'll know how plain I am!), these fit great, and will be here tomorrow (the store didn't have my size in stock so we ordered online).


Obviously, I have a lot of weight to lose and will need many rounds of the 21 Day Fix, but you have to start somewhere...

3.17.2015

Tipsy Tuesday (#303)

Maybe I don't have to teach Elise to sit like a little lady after all...

Tip # 303

Avoid sitting with your legs crossed for extended periods of time.

From ABC News, "Sitting with legs crossed at the knee can bump up blood pressure, according to a study published in Blood Pressure Monitoring. Leg crossing increased systolic blood pressure nearly 7 percent and diastolic by 2 percent."

"Frequent crossing of the legs also puts stress on the hip joints and can cause pooling of blood in the legs when the veins are compressed," says Stephen T. Sinatra, MD, FACC, a Connecticut-based cardiologist and author of The Great Cholesterol Myth. "This could predispose you to inflammation of the veins of the lower legs and possibly a blood clot."
 
Dr. Sinatra says to avoid crossing your legs for longer than 10 to 15 minutes, and to get up and walk around every half hour or so.
 

3.13.2015

What's In Your Purse?

I've not always been a purse gal, but as I get older, I find myself needing more "stuff" when I am out and about, particularly since becoming a Mom. There is nothing worse than being caught unprepared! I try to keep my bag pretty organized so that I can just reach right in and grab what I need.

We have transitioned so that Elise just has a small backpack with her diapers, wipes, and change of clothes that she takes for school and church nursery, so no more hefty diaper bag. In addition, I keep a large pouch of snacks, flexible straws, and kid sized utensils in the car that I can just grab and take in if we go to a restaurant.

I thought it would be fun to take you on a purse tour. Here is a breakdown of what I carry:

Elise's pouch (floral): Extra diaper & wipes, Coloring supplies, Stickers, Paint with water cards and paintbrush, Plastic bag for wet clothes

Beauty/First Aid pouch: Lotion, Brush, Lip gloss, First Aid Kit, Nail file, Lint roller, Basic medications (Tylenol, heartburn, etc.)

Office Supplies pouch: Calculator, Pens, Extra Memory cards, Backup external battery pack and USB cord for phone

Calendar

Notebook

Hand Sanitizer

Phone

Wristlet with Cash, Debit Card, ID, etc.


So, what's in your purse?

3.12.2015

Currently...

 
Listening...to "Let It Go" over and over in my head...someone at my house has caught on to Frozen.

Eating...this Mint Chocolate Chip Brownie Brittle...only 120 calories and oh so good!

Drinking...water.


Reading...emails.

Wearing...khakis, orange sweater, and brown flats. (It's back to chilly today...)


Feeling...blah and just overwhelmed with some drama this week. People just need to grow up!


Needing...to order the fabric for Elise's Easter dress...first she wanted orange (thank goodness that passed!), then she wanted butterflies, by the time that it gets here that may have changed, holding my breath. Who knew 2 year olds had so many wardrobe opinions?

Wanting...a break and my hour of sleep back.


Thinking...too much...need a brain break, as well.

 
Enjoying...the warmer days that we have had as of late, can't wait until they come to stay.
 

3.10.2015

Tipsy Tuesday (#302)

I'm ready to start some fun Easter activities with Elise!

Tip #302

But I'm not a fan of the messes, so this Easter egg dyeing tip is pure genius!

From Lifehack, "Place each of the boiled eggs into the whisk being careful not to break any of the outer shell. Once this is done, you can dip it in any color that you want. Food coloring usually stains your fingers, but the whisk prevents you from putting your hands in the dye. Now you can enjoy your Easter without the trouble of the cleanup!"

3.06.2015

The Things You Say

Dear Elise,

At 28 months (yes, I still count your age in months), you are quite the chatterbox, with a rather impressive vocabulary. I wanted to jot down some of the favorite funny things that you say so that we will remember them. Here are just a few:

• "Two treats": When you get something special, you want one in each hand!

• "It's Taco Tuesday!": The only day of the week that you know consistently, besides church days. All we have to ask is guess what day it is and you answer with...

 
• "Cold water, fresh milk": You know how you like your drinks...if we hand you a cup, your first question -  is it cold water or is it fresh milk?

• "Muddle Puddles": You have discovered Peppa Pig and she loves muddy puddles which you call muddle puddles.


• "Not today": You know that you aren't allowed to tell us "No," this is your sneaky work around, when asked to do something that you don't want to do you will reply, "Not today."

• "Next Christmas": You fell in love with candy canes, you talk about them all of the time and remind me that you will get some more next Christmas...

 
• "Fuzzies": Not much gets between you and your fuzzy socks!

•"Honey Bunners": We have Star Wars cups and your Daddy has been teaching you all of the characters on them, one is a bounty hunter, or as you call him, a honey bunner....


• "That's crazy": Daddy tried to explain that grandparents are our parents, your response..."that's crazy!"

• "You Miss Me? I Miss You.": This is my favorite, of course. You meet me at the door when I come home from work to tell me that you missed me. And when we wake you from nap or in the morning, you tell us that you missed us.

Oh, how we love you and the things you say.

Mommy (and Daddy!)

3.03.2015

Tipsy Tuesday (#301)

Because I do actually read labels and look at portions...

Tip #301

but a visual is much easier for me to use as a tool when keeping healthy portion sizes in mind.

This infographic from Skinny Mom is a great meal planning aid to keep me on track. I'm often surprised at the way products are packaged and how the portions actually break down - did you know that a package of PopTarts is 2 servings? Or that most "single-size" bags of chips are actually more than one serving? It can be eye opening to look at labels.

Are any of these portion sizes a surprise to you?