Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Guess who's back?

I’m not sure what it is, but I have had this major urge and desire to BLOG lately. I kind of deserted this little blog last year when things (mostly my job) started to get uncontrollably busy, which in turn made me not want to spend even more time at my computer typing up blog posts.  Things have changed – my job title, my mental state, my free time, my body, and my family – and we’re in a new season of life. For whatever reason, I just feel the need to type it out, even if it’s only for me to look back on someday and read.

I don’t know if I’ll be regularly posting, but I’m going to try to create a few posts each week. We had a very, very full summer and so far, fall has been more of the same. Lots of time spent together and many family memories made.

In West Virginia, on one of our many adventures this summer.

Until next time… hopefully sooner than later J

Friday, June 7, 2013

June Goals - The return of my {not-so-successful} goal-setting

In the past, my goals have probably been a bit too "big" {I put that in quotes because it is so relative...} for my current state of being. In other words, I was setting myself up for disappointment and failure.

So I'm starting small. So, so small. If for no other reason, to feel a teensy bit accomplished ;-)

So here we go - June's goals {a week late!}:

1. Keep up with the Summer Shape-up and lose weight! Enough said on that one. So far, so good!

2. Hang at least 1 thing on our walls. We've been there almost four months... and haven't hung a single thing... unless you count bike racks in the garage ;)

3. Create our Summer Fun list! Last year we made one and we did pretty well - definitely need to get this done ASAP!

Ok, now I'm pumped up to get all of this done this weekend... watch me GO!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

What's Working for ME

I've made a real committment to eating better and sticking to a fitness routine as of late, and it's been paying off - to the tune of 6lbs lost! I'm nearly to the weight I was at the start of last summer, which I'll take. This year started off so rough with me in the body {okay, and mind} department, and this shift in thinking, eating, and exercising has been GREAT for me mentally and thankfully now physically as well.

I'm committed to losing 30lbs by the big 3-0 this December, so I'm on my way! Six down, 24 to go :)

A few things that are working for me:

1. The return of the 5:30am alarm. People are always *shocked* that I get up at 5:30 to exercise, and it makes me laugh. What other time of day would you like me to fit it in? I'm either working, cooking, cleaning, or spending time with my husband and child. Exercising before work {and before any of those demands get to me} ensures that I get 'er dun and have the rest of my day to take care of everything and everybody else. And frankly, I'm just too tired to put any big effort in at the end of the day. Plus, you get used to getting up early {and then you end up freaking out on Saturday morning when you think your alarm didn't go off, until you realize it's Saturday and you don't have to get up that early!}.

2. Meal prep and go-to meals. A no-brainer, really. Meal planning and prep is so beneficial in so many ways, but I've always had a hard time getting on board with it. Mostly because I was trying to change it up to often. Lately I've been sticking to salads for lunch {see next item on the list}, then a simple protein {usually grilled BBQ chicken} with a carb {rice or baked potato} and salad for dinner. I cut and wash lettuce a few times each week - thanks to the OXO salad spinner hubby got me for Mother's Day! - along with veggies to add to the salads. I'll also slice up some fruit to enjoy throughout the week {a la fruit salad... fruit - fruit salaaaad...} and marinade some chicken. For lunch I'll pack a salad with either grilled chicken or some lunchmeat, then have a cup of yogurt and a piece of fruit. Easy peasy. Dinner is quick and easy on the grill. Voila.

Big serving bowl o' fruit, which lasts us the week

3. SALAD, gone gourmet. Way back when I did the South Beach diet, I spent the first 2 weeks choking down plain salad. It was so hard to eat and I never felt satisfied. I loved {and still love} restaurant-prepared salads, so I knew I could like eating salad as a meal, but I had such a hard time eating salad at home. As of late, the lightbulb went off and I thought "I'll just recreate restaurant salads at home!" Dur. So that's what I do. I make my salad like those I have at a restaurant. Lately, it's been a cobb salad - lots of romaine, broccoli, cucumber, red pepper, hard boiled egg, sprinkling of cheddar cheese, 1 slice crumbled bacon, grilled chicken and lite honey mustard dressing. Delicious and satisfying, with lots of veggies and protein!

Mmm salad.

4. Having a PIC named VIC. Vic was shaping up and dropping pounds for a 24-hour endurance race over Memorial Day weekend {24 hours of BURN}, so he was committed to cutting out the junk and getting off our butts. That made it so much easier for me to stick to my routine and good eating. It's always good to have someone to hold you accountable; it's even better when you live with that person {and they see you nakey!}.

5. Summer! It's FINALLY here {2 months late!}. The rain has ended, at least for now. Nothing better to remind you that you will need to eventually wear shorts and tanks. Better shape up those legs and arms! Not to mention the sweating... oy. You know summer is in effect in NC when you stand there doing nothing and sweat profusely. I'll take it any day over winter, though - no complaints here!

This week I started the Fitnessista's Summer Shape-Up, and it's been going well so far! She provides a workout plan along with instructions and pictures to help you out. I love her blog!

So that's what I've been doing lately. Habits I hope to keep up to keep myself and my family on track.

Have you made any changes lately that are working for you and your family?

Sunday, May 19, 2013

A Fresh Kitchen!

We've been here three months now, and we love our new place.

The house is great and suits us perfectly - three bedrooms, open floorplan, two-car garage! But it was built in 1998, so it definitely needs a little cosmetic updating {I'm looking at you... BRASS FIXTURES!}. The kitchen has been updated with granite countertops, stainless appliances and laminate flooring {which I hope to replace with hardwoods someday}, but the walls were still the original paint from 1998! Really flat, grimy, dinged-up plain white paint.

{Excuse the mess - I snapped these right before I started prepping... also notice the aqua patch - we didn't love it, especially once I realized that half of my office is that color}

Vertical blinds - yuck.

We like to refer to those as our "Mexican Restaurant Arches" - not our favorite, but I guess they add some interest

I LOVE having an island! So much room for food prep.
So much better {and neater}!

We have barstools now {$10 garage sale find!}

Walls = Glidden Duo in Dusty Miller

Gratuitous Valentino shot - prior to painting :-)
One room down... several more to go. I just finished painting Valentino's room BLUE today. So, so BLUE.

More house shots to come...

Friday, May 10, 2013

One Lucky Momma

Sunday is Mother's Day {as if you didn't know!}, and it's "my day" only due to this awesome little dude:

Being Silly in Target with sexy-arms Daddy
A few Saturdays ago, while we were still sleeping, he stamped himself 22 times

Yep, he's mine :-)

This boy is at such a fun an interesting age. His personality is blossoming, and we've really started to see how he thinks and functions. I feel so amazingly lucky and blessed to have this little person in my life. He is smart as a whip, funny, thoughtful, kind, assertive when he needs to be, polite, and creative. He is the perfect blend of his parents' best qualities, and I can't believe that he's ours :-)

Lately we've been enjoying: endless games of "post office" (he makes mail, then delivers it to Vic and me); making Mother's Day paintings and cards for his grandmas; tricks on his bike; huge, proud grins as he rides his new, geared mountain bike; willingness to try new foods - including vegetables {he LIKES carrots!!! I still hate them.}; planning another possible summer trip to MI; picking the perfect blue for his bedroom; using big boy words like "eventually" and "possibly" in the correct context.

On a personal level - I've been having a great week, if I do say so myself! I've booked 5 workouts {9-mile bike ride, 2 spins on the trainer, a run, and a lifting session for the arms} so far {4 of which occured prior to 6:30AM}, and I've been critically watching what I eat and getting down a lot more veggies. The scale is rewarding me with -2 since Monday :-) I like that! SELF: Let's keep it up over the weekend...

Monday, April 29, 2013

Mommy and Son Day, In Pictures {and a few words}

Valentino requested a planned long-weekend, so it was time for mommy to deliver one. I told him that today would be all about him -- no housework, no errands. Just whatever he wanted to do. Here's our day, in pictures:

6AM: Spin on the bike before the beast awakens
6:30AM: Bedhead and a happy boy

7:00AM: Epsom salt bath while the boy eats breakfast

8:00AM: Getting started on our painting project

9:00AM: Hard at work on a rainy morning


11:00AM: Being a boy

12:00PM: Jet's Pizza for lunch
1:00PM: Iced Hazelnut Macchiato w/skim for Momma, Birthday Cake Pop for the boy

2:00PM: Museum of Natural Sciences

3:00PM: Dem Bones

4:00PM: Sun shining, sno-cone in hand {yes, he's spoiled}

We came home, made and ate dinner, then he and daddy played with a paper airplane out in the yard. Later on, he helped me price items for our garage sale this weekend.

Such a wonderful day that I hope he remembers - it was nice to immerse myself in his world and his thinking, and to enjoy him at this age. Visiting a museum is SO much different now that he is so inquisitive and in to learning!

Friday, April 19, 2013

A Friday "Cheer Up" Post

I’ve been in a hard-core slump this week for some reason, and I’ve totally felt like that limp wind-up doll from that Pristiq commercial. I was even sitting at my desk yesterday bent forward, head on my wristrest, looking just like that doll {I was stretching my back, not imitating the doll.}.

From Google Image Search

Basically, I’m just having a hard time getting my heart to catch up with my head. I know I have SO much to be happy and thankful for, but the sadness in my heart is often paralyzing, and then I feel like a schmuck for having a wonderful life but still feeling sad when there are so many others dealing with things that are so much worse. I’m sure it will shake off and pass soon, but for now this is what I live with.

It’s also been such a heavy, sad and confusing newsweek - my heart and thoughts go out to everyone affected in every which way and in every place this week. What a reminder that life is so fragile and precious; nothing is guaranteed – not our safety, not our freedom {scary thought!}.

From Pinterest
 In light of this, and because it’s Friday and the “end is in sight” for this week, I’ve composed a list of things that make me happy:

1.       Hearing my husband and son play together while I cook and/or clean up dinner.

2.       Making dinners that my boys actually like {a rarity in our house – a cook, I am not!}.

3.       Warm, perfect spring days filled with bright green leaves, fresh-cut-grass smell, and endless Carolina-blue skies and sunshine.  It’s hard to be down with such perfection surrounding you!

4.     Admiring my cleaned-out flower beds and the flowers that Valentino and I planted together last weekend.

5.       The intense happiness and excitement Valentino gets from taking packages to the Post Office. I’m currently selling a lot of stuff on ebay, which means we make weekly trips – he loves every second of it {probably because right now, his favorite thing to do is play “delivery man”}.

6.       Iced coffee! I’m going to make Pioneer Woman’s recipe this weekend. I made it last year {or the year before?} and I think I remember it turning out decent… I’m going to give it a whirl again, to save some $ and time in the mornings.

7.       Super sore muscles. I’ve been getting out there more – running, lifting, and doing workouts in our “gym” {aka: garage}. My hamstrings and hips are still worked over from a killer leg workout I did on Wednesday night (thanks Fitnessista! )… I’ve also cut out the nighttime snacking and I’ve been super conscientious about what I eat. A few pounds down, many more to go! By the way, I will be treating myself to a hair chop-off once I reach a certain goal. I’m really over having this super-long hair and I desperately want my hair {okay, and BODY!} to look like this:

Pinterest via
8.       Valentino’s Rainbow Tea – the preschool is putting on a little “show” for us today {the kids will be singing songs about springtime and the colors of the rainbow, then they are serving rainbow-themed refreshments afterwards}. Valentino has a small speaking part, and he is totally geeked about it. He and I assembled rainbow fruit skewers {strawberries, cantaloupe, pineapple, green grapes, blueberries, red grapes} to share with the kids and their parents.

"Mom, we're like real chefs putting these together for people to eat!"
{Idea via Pinterest - OF COURSE!}
Side note: If you’ve seen “This is 40,” do you have the urge to say “fruits” like the Indian doctor all the time, too? I pretty much can’t say “fruit” without wanting to say it his way… I’m a nut.

9.       Lunchtime walks {minus the silkworms}. Bright, refreshing moments for me during long, seemingly never-ending days.
Here's to a restorative, happy, and relaxing weekend! Please take your time, Monday.