Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Ready, Set, Go.....

So lately I have been on a health kick. Why you ask? Well, at work I am heading the planning committee for our holiday party, and this year my staff wants something nice. And I have a killer dress to wear. Only it doesn't fit. So Operation Get Healthy has begun or OGH as I call it.  Cheesy I know. Now my goals are not only to lose weight but to also get fit. So I plan on running a 5k sometime in October or maybe November... depending on how confident I am.  I haven't registered for anything just yet but the idea is in the back of my head.

Anywho so moving on.... So how am I going to do this? Well with the help of my iphone of course! First I am using MyFoodDiary.com to track everything I eat. It is awesome!  It is a handy little website that lets me track my meals, my weight, and it provides all the nutritional info that I need to stay on track. And if I eat something unhealthy it lets me know so I can adjust accordingly. I love it. And it is only $9 a month. Pretty cheap if you ask me. They also have a cute little app that I have on my phone so I am never without it.

But that's not all. Our family also joined a gym, and I have been running on the treadmill. Thus, why I want to run a 5k. And to help me do it, I have been using another app wonder called Run 5k. The idea is that in 8 weeks you will be ready to run 3.1 miles without stopping.  Perfect for a beginner like me, I am on week 5 at the moment and loving it. It is a series of walk/run intervals, and it tells you exactly when to do what. No more me having to watch the time on the treadmill trying to figure out when I can walk again. (just being honest folks!)  And it runs in the background while I jam out to my workout playlist.  

But that's not all. I am no statistics guru and I don't know the facts but I am pretty sure that when most people join a gym they lose interest after awhile and stop going. And then it becomes a waste of money. Heck it has even happened to me. At times, going to the gym can seem like such a chore. It is just easier to stay at home and veg out on the couch. Not.Anymore.More. Yes folks, I give you GymPact

iPhone Screenshot 1iPhone Screenshot 2iPhone Screenshot 3

It has to be one of the coolest apps out there.  The concept behind GymPact is that you get paid to work out and when you don't, you have to fork over the moolah! Pure genius I tell you!  So I set a pact to workout 3 days a week and I put $10 on the line. Now it is not just $10 that I pay if I don't meet my pact it is $10 per workout!  So if I don't go to the gym at all during the week it costs me $30 bucks! Which is a huge motivator for me to go! And if I make my pact well then I get paid! The idea is that they disperse the funds from those members that didn't meet their pact and pay it to those who did. Seriously, why didn't I think of that?

And the results so far? I am proud to say that I have lost 7 lbs. Ok, so I am obviously not going to break any records here as I have only just started. But it is more then just the weight, it is how I feel. And I feel awesome! I am proud of myself for attempting something that I haven't done in years. I am excited to be focusing on myself for a few shorts minutes at the gym each week. My stress level is less and overall I am healthier for it.  I know it because I can feel it. And that is all that matters.

Now if only I could find my phone....

I was not compensated in anyway, shape or form for discussing these apps. They are just tools that I genuinely love to use and thought I would spread the love.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

For My Girls

I came across this online and thought it was absolutely beautiful.  It brought tears to my eyes.  I love my babies more then they will ever know.  This is for them.

Sunday, April 1, 2012


Today has been one of those days. It is gloomy outside, the weather doesn't know if it wants to rain or not. My girls are sick and the hubby has a stiff neck (must be stress right before Easter) He can't turn his head and I am bored. I have been locked up in the house all weekend. Not that that's a bad thing. Only I'm not motivated to do anything productive.

You see instead, I want to go shopping. Not for clothes but for furniture. The hubby and I have decided that it is time for a new bedroom set. Two of the drawers on our cheap Ikea dresser are no longer functional and we are ready for an upgrade. So occassionally when we both have time, we peruse the furniture stores, looking for the right pieces to no avail. Only he can't go with me because as I mentioned he has a stiff neck. And the girls are sick. And who wants to go furniture shopping by themselves? Not me.

I also thought about remodeling the girls bathroom. Put in two pedestal sinks, retile the floor with something pretty, new toilet, shower, built-ins, the whole shebang.

And I want to tear out our perfectly good hardwood floors and replace it with wider plank floors, in a dark stain. Get rid of our carpet, install board and batten in our dining room, new kitchen appliances, etc.

This is what happens when I get board. I start dreaming about all the things I want to do to a perfectly good house. It drives my husband crazy. Not that he doesn't want to do it, just that it costs a lot of money. And when your main goal is to pay down your debt... well you see my dilemma.

So I dream and wish and try to think of ways that we could do this at least one of these things on my list. And I come up with nothing. So I settle for a trip to Lowe's for some new planters for the front of the house. At least it gets me out of the house. Did I mention that my girls are sick and I have been covered in puke the last few days? Yeah, Lowe's was a welcome reprieve.

So here's hoping that this next week is busy (as I know it will be, it is holy week after all) and it will take my mind off of all the things I want to do and can't. Better yet, let's pray that my hubby and girls feel better soon. I hate being bored.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

So things are about to get crazy around here...

Tomorrow I start a new job. Although I am really excited for this I always hate starting something new. It is nerve racking to be the newbie and not know anyone or how they do things or even where the bathroom is. Sure, it gets better with time and eventually I won't be the newbie anymore but it still doesn't make it any easier.

Tomorrow I will have to get up extra early, kiss my babies goodbye as they sleep soundly in their beds, drive on new roads and hope that traffic isn't too bad. I will be wondering if my hubby got the kids off to school ok, meeting new people all day (half of which I won't remember their names the next), try and get comfortable in a new office, at a new desk and attempt to learn an entirely new system.

I know this job is a good opportunity for me and my family and I look forward to the challenge. Hopefully some of these new people that I meet will become good friends. So far they have been really great to me and if this is any indication of what this company is actually like, I think I will like it there. It also means that I will be going back to work full time. I haven't worked full time in several years so that in and of itself will be a huge adjustment for me.

So for now, I will be biting my nails in anticipation of what tomorrow will be like, studying up on the employee handbook (since I work in HR it is my job to know it throughly) and debating over what I am going to wear. And hope that tomorrow will go smoothly. Which I know it will, it always does. Then I will have Monday under my belt. And then Tuesday will be even easier. Maybe by Friday I will actually know some of their names!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Laundry Room Love

So over Christmas our laundry machines bit the dust. And believe me when I tell you that I was not to broken up about it. In fact the hubby and I have been wanting new machines since we bought our house so now was our chance. Plus it was time to make some changes in there in anyway. As in paint, new shelving, better organization, etc. etc.

Here is what it looked like when we first moved in. Plain, boring and blah...

Sorry for the dark photo. I should have turned on the light, but I didn't. Oops! I will learn better next time. And did you notice the lovely shelf running along the side of the wall? Yeah, the lid from the washing machine would hit it every time. And if you didn't lift it at just the right angle, it would come crashing down on you. So annoying! And the upper shelving above the machines was impossible to reach. Seriously, who thought of this anyway. Ok, moving on...

So I decided to paint the walls a soft green color. It is Sparkling Sage from Valspar color matched in Behr paint.

We love Behr paint. I can't say enough about it. But you have to get the kind that has the primer built in. Seriously you only need one coat. It is that awesome! Gee, think I get off topic very much? Moving on yet again...

So down came the shelves, up went the paint. The new machines were installed and we love them! However installation was not without its many hickups! The machines themselves are awesome. Just not the company we bought them from. I could go into detail here about how awful that entire process was and how I will never buy anything from that store again but that would take an entire post all by itself. Plus I don't think the world wide web wants to read an entire post involving me complaining about said store. So I will refrain, just know that they will be receiving a nasty letter from me in the mail. I was that mad!

So yesterday we went to Ikea to purchase new shelving and I hope to have them installed this weekend. We decided to go with these shelves because they held the most weight and you could cut them to fit the size you need. Only one small problem, we can't cut these. Ahhh yes, the joys of Ikea. Apparently they sell two types of white shelves, one is called the Jarpen and the other is called the Tony. Basically the Tony has a shiner glossier finish to it. The Jarpen is painted with acrylic paint and according to their website, it can be cut to fit. And guess which one we bought? Yep, the Tony! Go figure! If Ikea wasn't so far away we would have exchanged them for the right one, but alas I don't have time to take two hours out of my weekend to drive to Ikea just to get different shelves. SOOO that means that we will be attempting to cut them to fit on our own. Wish us luck!

So I hope to post better pictures soon of the new laundry room once the shelves are installed. But don't think I finished there. We still will need to install a new drain pan under our washing machine since the old one didn't fit the new machine and because I have a large whole in my laundry room floor underneath the machine until it gets covered up.  We need to add a counter top above the machines so I have a place to fold clothes. And figure out some kind of laundry sorting system so my girls can take responsibility for their own clothes. And I can't forget to install a new light fixture.

As far as the counter top goes, I really like the idea of a butcher block counter top but I don't know how practical it would be for a laundry room. So I am perusing magazines, home improvement stores and pinterest for ideas. Hopefully I can get something that is durable, relatively inexpensive and easy to install and not have to wait eons for it. Stay tuned to find out what we decide on....

Saturday, February 4, 2012


Did you notice anything different? I sure hope so! I have been working hard on the new blog design and I hope you like it. It is still not where I would like it to be but it is getting there. Hopefully over the next few months I will be able to tweek it even more.

The old blog design was fine at first and I loved having the pictures of my girls in my header. I had very good intention of changing them up with the seasons but I soon came to realize that I am not a very good photographer and I don't have a very good camera. Plus being a newbie with the whole blog thing, I didn't have it in me to change them as often as I should of. Heck, lets be honest, I didn't even have it in me to blog as often as I should have.

I even contemplated switching from blogger to a different host (if that is even what you call them) because I have been having issues lately with trying to upload my photos into blogger from iphoto. Yes, I have a Mac and being a newbie to that also equals a formula for disaster. Thus, the pictureless posts lately. But I am bound and determined to figure out my issue and if there are better, easier ways to get around it. And to be perfectly honest, the idea of having to transfer everything over just gave me a headache. So I decided to stick with what I have for now and attempt to make it more visually appealing. No, I am not a graphic artist and therefore it will probably always be a work in progress but for now I kinda like it.

Monday, January 23, 2012

2012 {A new year and new goals}

Wow!! Has it really been two months since I last blogged? Well I guess it has. With that being said, I offer my sincere apologies. I have had a lot going on these last few months and while a small part of me enjoyed the break from the blogging it is time to get back at it. So without further ado...

2012 is officially upon us and I have some lofty goals for this year. Yes, I completely realize that by this time in January most have already given up on their new years resolutions, but I am just starting. And just to clarify they are not resolutions, they are goals. Which means that I don't have to commit to starting all of them all at once. And if I don't accomplish them all I am ok with that. Obviously some are more important to me than others and if something doesn't get crossed off by the end of the year, I will just carry over to the next. I am all about flexibility. So hear goes...

learn how to sew
 I received a sewing machine for Christmas and I am super excited to start using it. Actually I already made myself an infinity scarf (with my mom's help of course) although I don't recommend making something like that your first project. It was very frustrating. But I finished it and now I will take some back steps and start with something slightly easier. Which means that I am off to the library to check out some books on sewing and scouring the internet for you tube videos on how to make something fun and cute. I don't know what it will be yet but I will be sure to let you know when I find it.

spend more quality time with my hubby
It is no surprise that this past year has been insanely busy for both of us. From working 60+ hours per week, taking the girls back and forth from school and activities, cooking, cleaning, entertaining family, etc. etc. it is often hard to find time for just the both of us. This needs to change. I have the most amazing husband and I love spending time with him. And I am not a fancy girl that needs an official date night out (although those are fun too) I am perfectly fine with having a picnic on our living room floor after the girls go to bed. But the idea is that this needs to be more intentional. We both need to start making more time on purpose or else time will get away from us and before we know it another year will have gone by and we won't be able to remember what was the last movie we saw together. (yes this has happened).

make my house a home without breaking the bank
I have blogged about our house before and believe me I have big plans for it. However those plans also require a lot of moo-lah. Which I don't have. I also don't have a lot of talent in the DIY arena to turn these dreams into a reality myself so it means that I will be working on the small stuff first and saving up for the big stuff later. I am at peace with the fact that I won't be remodeling our kitchen anytime soon but that doesn't mean that I can't paint the walls and hang up art work. The first project to tackle is our laundry room. Our washing machine bit the dust shortly after Christmas which means that we were able to get new machines. The walls have already been painted and the new machine's are installed, now I have to find a counter top that I like, have someone install said counter top, put up shelving and maybe then I can get all of the cleaning supplies out of my master bedroom. While paying cash for all of it. Wish me luck!

...and speaking of the bank... pay off more of our debt
Over the last several years, I have come to despise debt of any kind. Credit cards, car loans, student loans, mortgages, etc. You name it, I can't stand it. Now I don't claim to be a financial expert by any means, just someone trying to manage our finances in the best possible way we can. Which means attacking any debt we have head on and making it disappear. Last year we starting using Dave Ramsey's cash envelope system and so far it has been working great. But I feel that we could be doing more. So this year I want to get more aggressive with it. Student loans you are going down!!!

become a vegan
So this one might come as a shock to some of you. Me?? A vegan?? Yep! you read that right. But I don't plan on doing this over night. And don't read too much into this. I love steak and cheese just as much as the next guy. In fact a blue cheese crusted steak is my ultimate fave! But I am not doing this to save the environment, or Sally the cow. I am doing this purely for my own health reasons. I have seen several documentaries lately about the food we eat including Food Inc. and Forks over Knives. I have also been reading different books on eating a whole food plant based diet and I am intrigued by the health claims that come with it. I have had asthma and allergies for as long as I can remember and although my asthma is controlled with inhalers I would love to be able to ditch them all together. Is dairy the culprit? I don't know, but I am willing to give it up to find out. But I can't do this over night. So the first item to get the axe is meat. In fact I have already gone over a week with out eating any red meat, chicken, or fish. Although I did slip and make a pan of brownies with eggs in it. And they were delicious! But overall I am doing pretty well. If I can make is full 30 days without eating meat, then dairy will be next on the list. I will keep you posted as to how this goes.

And last but not least...plant a garden
Or at least try to plant a garden. It is no secret that I don't exactly know what I am doing when it comes to gardening. I can't tell the difference between a flower and a weed, I have a tendency to overwater or forget about them all together and not water them for weeks. We also live in a area where bunnies and squirrels run wild along with some other types of animals that are keen to eating up the fruits of my labor before I can get to it. Which means that I won't be starting a full fledge garden this year. Nope, I am starting much smaller by planting a few plants in pots on my deck. But heck, I don't even know what would grow good in a pot. Cucumbers maybe? I am not sure, but with a little more reading up on the subject I am sure to find something. Or if you have any recommendations I would love to hear them.

So how is that for a 2012 goal list? Sounds like I will have my hands full. But it is all a good kind of busy. Making more time for myself, my family, our health and our home? Count me in! I can't wait to start!