Friday, May 30, 2014

Another Sneak Peak

Holy cow, have I seriously not posted since last week? I could have sworn that I wrote some brilliant things on Monday or Tuesday – or both. I guess my memory isn’t what it used to be – must be because I’m quickly approaching the dreaded 3-0…and trying to not panic about it! I think I shall spend the next month watching "13 Going on 30" and reminding myself that to this day, Jennifer Garner STILL doesn't seem old!

In the meantime, here is another photo gem…my sweet Elsa…

My Little Elsa...

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Baseball = Good Habits Forming...

When I was a kid, after a certain age, I really didn't want to be active. I guess you could say I was lazy. I liked to eat, but not move much - a common problem amongst TODAY'S youth. My parents, however, had other plans for me, and forced me to engage in activities. Swimming was a must, as it's such an important skill to learn. Baseball was one I chose begrudgingly, although I learned to love it.

My kids like a lot of healthy foods, thank goodness, so I don't worry too much about that. However, I don't want them to develop lazy habits just because they eat their vegetables, so I try to keep them physically engaged. Aaralyn, the oldest, has tried intros to gymnastics, dance, and does swimming on a fairly regular basis. Unstructured play is important too, so I try not to sign her up for too much at once. This summer, I am hoping to pass along my love of baseball to her. Hopefully she likes it!

Here are some photos from her opening weekend (yes, I am coaching):

Image and video hosting by TinyPic
Image and video hosting by TinyPic
Image and video hosting by TinyPic
Image and video hosting by TinyPic
Image and video hosting by TinyPic
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

It was quite a weekend!

Princess Party

I'm skipping Fat-Free Friday in order to show off some pictures from Aaralyn's recent birthday party. It was a bit of work, but I must admit, I DO like doing parties at home. I'm turning into "that" mom. Oh well. Hope you enjoy!

Table Setting - note the umbrellas strategically hiding my husband's booze:

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Flowers that my mom bought for the centrepiece:

Image and video hosting by TinyPic


Image and video hosting by TinyPic


Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic


Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Decorating these jewelry boxed was a HUGE success

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

I did a few other games. One was based off of the "Princess and the Pea", where they had to sit on three different pillows and guess which one the "pea" was under. Also, they had to hunt around the house to find Cinderella's slipper. It was fun!

Cupcakes: I got lazy and ordered them from a bakery. I had enough to do!

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

The cake from her actual birth DAY was a bit more elaborate:

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

What I felt like at one point: (and yes, it's just a joke, no I do not drink while watching children):

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

The beautiful Elsa piggy bank that my friend made:

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

And finally, our customary Mother/Daughter birthday photo! That's a wrap!

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

(What? You DON'T wear your maid of honour dress to your child's birthday party? Maybe YOU are the weird one!)

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Sneak Peak

It shouldn't take you too long to guess the theme of this recent photo shoot....more photos to come...

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Monday, May 26, 2014

Just Another Manic Monday...

Well, I guess today isn't too "manic", but my weekend sure was! I even took Friday off to prepare for the busy days ahead, but I still ended up exhausting myself! I am so sore today! *whines*

Aaralyn's birthday was on Friday. After school, my husband and I took her to ride the giant Ferris Wheel in a nearby city, and then spent some time with her playing games at the midway. Somehow she managed to hit the jackpot on one of the games! She won enough tickets to get a Webkindz kitty cat, so she was very happy! Afterwards we took her for lunch at McDonald's, her favourite place. (I got a Happy Meal, if you wish to know!) It's always nice to get her out for some parent-daughter time without her brother, and we plan to do the same for him around his birthday. As close as they are, we do feel that they deserve some alone time with Mom and Dad once in awhile! Afterwards, we did the cake and presents thing with the family. She was SO excited to get a Playskool ShowCam camera from my mom. It's easy to use and a lot of fun for kids! I highly recommend it! We got her a big dollhouse for her barbies, but she prefers to put her Fisher Price Little People in it. Whatever works!

On Saturday was her first baseball game of the season. The T-ball team consists mainly of 4, 5 and 6 year olds, and I am helping to coach. We were pleasantly surprised at how well they did, despite only having time for two practices before hand. They had another game on Sunday, and although I missed it, I was told that they did very well again. Aaralyn even got the last player "out" to end the game! That's my girl! It's just too bad that our team name is the YANKEES...tough to swallow for a Jay's fan like me!

Then Sunday came...after preparing for most of the day on Saturday and Sunday morning, it was finally time for her birthday PARTY. Let me tell you - 5 guests was enough! The party went much better than expected...the kids loved the games and food, the craft and just running around having fun together. It was a lot of work, but I am so happy with how it all turned out. Although I must say that I may plan something simpler for next year...

Pictures from these events coming soon...

P.S. Despite the business, I ended up eating pretty well for these past three days, AND I even found the time to exercise 3 times. I feel great!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Five Weeks

So, as I mentioned previously, I wanted to create a five week challenge for myself starting on May 23rd. Why did I pick this date? Well, it happens to by my daughter’s birthday, and is about 5 ½ weeks before my own birthday. I am going to be 30 this year (yikes!) and I really want to feel my best. I know that it’s not enough time to hit my goal weight, but if I can at least get close to the 150s, I will feel pretty good.

My original goal weight, for those of you who remember, was 157. I later changed it to 153, and then chose a goal range of 148-153. I think that goal range was a bit low for me, to be honest, so I’m amending things this time.

My new goal weight is 155, aiming for a goal RANGE of 153-157. The benefit of a goal range is that you don’t stress about ever little half pound gain. When you are at the lower end, you know that you can have a few extra treats without worrying about it. When you are at the top of your range, you know it’s time to reign things it. I think it would have worked well for me, had I not chosen such a low goal.

The only reason that I wanted to get to 148 is so that I could say I lost an even 50lbs. Now I don’t care so much about that. I just want to be healthy, look my best, and still enjoy food.

Here is my five week plan, aka the “Fit in Five” Challenge. You all know that I’m dorky and like to name my challenges!


1. I will try to get to the gym 3 times per week, and work out on my own at home (running, DVDs, etc) 1-2 times per week
2. I will push myself with cardio, and start adding more weight with my strength training
3. I will do 1000 pushups during these five weeks, and do arm exercises at home on my non-gym days
4. I will do 1000 squats or lunges (at home)
5. I will do 1000 crunches (or crunch variations) and 35 minutes of planking (one minute each day, average) on top of my gym-time exercises


1. I will drink more water to avoid snacking mindlessly (I have a terrible oral fixation)
2. I will count my points and stay within my daily target as much as possible
3. I will focus on eating more vegetables, aiming for at least 3 servings a day
4. I will focus on decreasing the amount of non-natural sugar I consume
5. I will try new things, and experiment with new tastes, to make healthy food more interesting

Some of these goals may not seem that impressive. I mean, heck, some people do 1000 crunches in a DAY. But for me, they’re realistic, and they WILL make a difference in how I look and feel. So I’m sticking with this!

Here are some “before” photos for you (And yes, they are more of the crappy-bathroom-quality kind. My apologies):

Image and video hosting by TinyPic
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

And here is a goodie – one of my in the shorts that fit me perfectly well last year (and yes, you will see lots of stretch marks. Deal). I have quite a way to go:

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

That's all for now!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Back At It

On Friday, after a week of stuffing my face with every food imaginable, I stepped on the scale to find myself the exact same weight that I was on January 1. I have made no long-term progress in 4 ½ months.

But I wasn’t mad at myself, actually. I just thought, “Good thing I caught myself before I got back up to 200!” I accepted the number, I accepted my poor choices, and I vowed (yes, AGAIN) to be better going forward. I took before pictures, got in a quick 20-minute workout, and ate a healthy breakfast. What’s done is done, right?

I know you are sick of hearing about this. I am sick of talking about it. The only reason I’ve continued to do so is because I want to be honest on this blog. And the reality is that sometimes weight maintenance is really, really hard. Sometimes you have minor slip ups, and sometimes you have MONTHS of slip ups. The important thing is to ignore the voice in your head that tells you to quit. There is no quitting. This is about improving your lifestyle. For me, I figure, even if I only eat healthily and exercise 2 days of the week, it’s still two days better than how I was before. It may not be making me skinny, but it must be making me a tiny bit healthier, right?

As of now, I have about six weeks until my birthday. I am going to spend the next week counting my points and getting in activity. The following five weeks will involve making a challenge for myself – giving myself a certain number of pushups, squats, and ab exercise to do each day, for example, eating a certain number of vegetables, limiting my eating in restaurants. I’m still working on the numbers, but a plan is in place.

Hopefully in a few weeks I will have some “after” photos for you.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Working on a Plan...

So, I'm working on a plan...a plan to get back ON plan...a healthy eating plan, that is.

I feel like I am just talking about the same thing all of the time, and that MUST be getting old for you readers. So, I am going to come up with a plan. I have six weeks until my birthday, which is the perfect amount of time for an almost-summer challenge.

Stay tuned.

Monday, May 12, 2014

I am in LOVE...

...with the recent weather! The past few days have been simply GORGEOUS!!! We were able to spend so much time outside yesterday, which made for a very Happy Mother's Day for me! I hope that all of you mothers out there had a great day, too. But, I also want to send my heartfelt thoughts to those longing to become mothers, and those who had suffered losses. You were in my thoughts yesterday as well. I imagine that this is one of the most difficult times of year for you.

Back to the weather: although I did struggle with my depression and anxiety this past fall and winter, I didn't really find that the dark days of winter really made it any worse. However, I DID forget how much better I can feel when surrounded by warm, sunny days! I even turned my run yesterday into a walk (after a good mile) because I just wanted to enjoy myself outside and be really present with nature. It was so good for my emotional health.

My goal for this week for myself - and my hope for all of you - is to really focus on doing things that are good for my body AND my mind. I need to go back to making happiness a true priority. It always should be.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Hosting a Healthier Barbecue

So, since spring has SORT OF arrived around here (the weather is still all over the place, but getting better), I have been thinking about barbecue season. In the past, summer has typically been a time of healthier eating for me. However, when it comes to family barbecues - oh my goodness. It's all about delicious, glorious, full-fat food. And that's okay, in moderation. But, if you're like me and appreciate a good barbecue more than once-in-a-blue moon, you sometimes feel like you're constantly indulging. So, I'm looking for ways to host a healthier barbecue: recipes, tips, swaps, etc. I will share with you what I have come up with so far, but feel free to share your ideas with me as well!

My ideas:

- Choose leaner meats to barbecue, like chicken breasts, and flavour them up with seasonings instead of sauces

- If hamburgers are your love, make your own using lean meat. If you're into hotdogs, and looking to save calories, simply enjoy the meat while skipping the bun - Be creative with what you choose to barbecue. Shrimp is a tasty choice that people forget about! - Salad is a good side dish, but if you are getting sick of greens, definitely grill some vegetables! Red peppers with mushrooms and eggplant done together is good combo! Or make/buy veggie kabobs for something fun

- If you do love dishes like macaroni and potato salad, consider making one to enjoy...not six!

- Avoid liquid calories. Water works just fine!

- Watermelon is the perfect barbecue "dessert". Or a fruit salad featuring berries. No need for anything fancier!

As you can see, I need more ideas, so...thoughts, anyone?

Friday, May 2, 2014

Fat-Free Friday

Fat-Free Friday Welcome to Fat-Free Friday. Time for me to review my eating and exercise, right? Well, I am excited. Guess what I did this week? I ran a mile in under 10 minutes! That was one of the more recent fitness goals that I set for myself, and I am so proud!!! I mean, sure, I ONLY ran one mile in that time, but you have to start somewhere, right? And the best part is, I didn’t feel like I was dying, which means that I could probably have lasted longer at that pace…right? I mean, we all know that I’m not a fast runner, and that I’ve decided to focus more on distance running rather than speed. But, that doesn’t mean that I don’t care about timing at all. After one fast(er) mile, I felt really proud of myself. And that’s a big part of why I run!

As for my eating, I’m still trucking along, but still struggling. I’m still much, MUCH better at maintenance than I am at losing, that’s for sure! I did mange to lose half a pound this week, and that's better than nothing. I am really trying to motivate myself for the month of May, before SHORTS weather comes! I really don’t want to have to buy new clothes just because of a measly 10lbs!!! Most of the Easter candy is gone from my house, so that should really help. Eating out is still a big challenge – I’m not talking about planned meals out, but times where I’m on the go and just don’t plan ahead. So I guess that’s my focus this week: planning (but not obsessing). I’ll get there!

Anyone know of any May challenges that they want to share with me? If so, please leave a comment!